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Full text of "Epitome credendorum : containing a concise and popular view of the doctrines of the Lutheran Church"


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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Cornell Unlverttty Library 
BXS065 .H93 



Epitome credendorum : containing a conci 



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3 1924 029 460 460 



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The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924029460460 



11PI1!J(DIII liamiDlDlEli 



BY THE 



REV. NICOUUS HUNNIUS D. D. 

LATE RECTOR AT LVEBECK, GERMAtlY. 



^3^BB© "****** 



CONTAINING 



A CONCISE \m POPULAR VIEW OF THE DOCTRINES 



OF THE 



atEX^MM aiWEH. 



(/ir|i ebiUli in 1625.) 



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN 



BY 



IPA'OIL HIDWAmiD ©®1TirSIIiItIL.o 



..Kdiivd xcsl ncii.aK)C." 



NUREMBERG, 1847. 

PRINTED BY U. E. SEBALD. 






4 1 Kino J 



PKEFACi; 



BY THE 



REV. WILLIAM LOEHE 

MINISTER OF NEW DETTELSAU, BAVARIA. 



The attempt which is hereby made, to present to those 
of our countrymen, who have settled in North America, and 
to whom the english language has become the means of com- 
munication, an english translation of the Epitome Credendorum, 
wiU not appear to them an unprofitable one, and will, we trust, 
be considered by them as a partical testimony of the love and 
attachment which we still bear towards them: We are the 
more led to think so, when we consider the great want which 
they must experience of such theological writings, the authors 
of which have had in view the maintainance, in all their parts, 
of all the fundamental doctrines of the Lutheran Church. We 
are aware that, especially in more recent times, our North 
American brethren have shown a desire for making known to 
the clergy and laity of their adopted fatherland, the most appro- 
ved lutheran authors ; but we, on our part, are convinced that 
besides the symbolical writings, nothing would serve more to 
silence and shift the intricate manifestations of contending opin- 
ions, than an approved dogmatical work, in which every point 
of oiu: faith is fully considered and represented agreeable to 



VI Preface. 

the true sense of scripture. We would have preferred it, — 
and indeed it would have been more honourable to our father- 
land — had we been able, instead oi the work oi' Hunnius, to 
have selected one of a more recent date; but amongst the 
great number of writings of this nature, we have not been able 
to discover one, which was compiled in such a manner as 
would, show more, tfiaj its Author \Ya^ ^^termined firmly to 
preserve all the doctrines of our eonftssion and the principles 
of practical life consequent thereto, and that by all its perfec- 
tions had been written with more simplicity of styl, — than 
that of Hunnius. We admit that there are, in this work, many 
points to be found, whiph Jiave not beep treg.te(J yi\ih that 
conformity to scripture and that clearness which might ap- 
pear desirable, — but as we would not, and indeed could not, 
undertake an entire reconstruction of the work, we preferred 
leaving it as it was, and giving it in its original shape.*) 
Every dogmatical writing which we might have chosen for 
our present purpose, would have been more objectionable than 
that of Hunnius. It would be well if a great many of our brethren 
beyond the seas did but return to the views maintaiped in 
this work — and on this regained ground a full the develope- 
ment of the truth will, in due time, not be wanting. — 

This translation has been made by a theologian who is 
well acquainted with the two languages, and who has also 
directed the printing of it. This latter occupation has been 
quite as tedipus as the translation itself, which, owing to 
the great unclearness and conciseness of the original , hsis offered 
no small difficulties and not few stumblingblocks. And 
if the reader should be astonished at the Errata which 
he might happen to meet here and there (the most important 
of which he finds collected on the last page of book) he is 
requested to consider the great difficulties, which a composer, 
who is quite ignorant of the english language , must have to 



*) A few passages, which the reader finds distinguished from the context 
by brackets, he is. requested to consider as an attempt which has been 
made, to augment the usefulness of the book. 



Preface. vii 

encounter in cumposing a work in that tongue, though we 
naust do the Printer the justice to say, that he has exerted 
himself to the utmost of his power to render the work as per- 
fect as possible, — and the obstacles, even the most expe- 
rienced revisor must have to ctmtend with, under these circum- 
stances. 

After the printing of this work had had already been com- 
menced, we had occasion to see the ^,Imtheran Observer," and to 
find that its .Editor promised to give a translation of the 
Epitome in its columns. We were at once rejoiced and sur- 
prised to find, that the new edition of the Epitome (in the 
german language) which had been recently undertaken by a 
dear friend of ours, for the benefit of the german Lutherans in 
North America, had been so favourably received by the Edi- 
tors of the „ Standard."' And indeeed we cannot allow this 
oportunity to pass, without expressing our great satisfaction at 
observing the ^Lutheran Standard"' still to have retained so 
many elements which evidence it almost to a certainty, that 
he is not willed to depart fVom the confession of our church 
and the practical life agreeable thereto. And though it 
would appear as if the time for the Ohio -Synod — whose 
organ we believe the ^Lutheran Standard'-'' to be — to call 
herself a „gemian lutheran Synod," was past; yet might it 
have perhaps fallen to the lot of this very Synod, to become 
a centre for all those, who, though they have yielded already 
to the influences of the english language, are yet determined 
not to give over the communion of faith and confession, by 
which they feel themselves still united to their german breth- 
ren. It is always with great pain that we read, that in any 
part of North America the hope of retaining german language 
and nationality is past; but we are far from believing that the 
German Lutheran Church is to stand or fall with the german 
language. And just this would be our only comfort, on seeing 
the german elements rapidly disappear from so many parts of 
North America, to see these our brethren more and more 
return to the full truth of the Lutheran Church, and, in another 
tongue, confess themselves of the same faith and of the snme 
hope with us. May the Ohio Synod and all those of our 



vni Preface. 

brethren, whose hearts have not yet turned from the confession 
of our church, be guided in all truth, by the Spirit of all 
truth, and may they be pleased to accept of this token t)f 
love and affection, which with this Epitome Credendorum we 
send them accross the seas! 



New Dettelsau, June 1847. 



-**«HS«©^tti8:<>;i!iaw«'£^*t<- 



To this the Translator begs leave to add but a few words. 
He had been requested to render a faithful translation of the 
Epitome. Such, he trusts, it will be find to be, and as such and 
nothing else, he begs this translation to be considered. And 
accordingly, if now and then the reader should meet with a 
passage, which is not as clear, and its reasoning not quite as 
obvious, as might be expected, — he is kindly requested, not 
to put this circumstance altogether on the translator's account, 
but to remember what the Rev. Gentleman, who prefaced 
this treatise, has stated about the nature of the text, — though 
the Translator is far from believing this his labour to be al- 
together faultless, but, on the contrary is fully convinced, that 
the whole has been accomplished amidst much weakness and 
infirmity. 



CONTENTS. 



1. Of the nature and attributes 

of God 50 

2. Of the unity of God 65 

3. The persons of the Godhead 68 

4. Of the divinity of Christ ... 99 

5. Of the Holy Ghost 123 

6. Of the creation of tlie world 141 

7. Of Angels 147 

8. Man the image of God. . .158 

9. Of the sin of our first parents 169 

10. Of original sin 182 

11. Of the free will 203 

12. Of actual sin 209 

13. Of the sin against the Holy 
Ghost 237 

14. Of God's judgment over the 
sinner 261 

15. Of the divine law 261 

16. Of God's merciful purposes. 282 

17. Of the election of grace . . . 304 

18. Of Christ 329 

19. Of the Messiah 330 

20. Of the communication of 

Christ's two natures 357 

21. Of the union of Christ's two 

natures 361 



22. Of Christ's stale of humiliation 
and exaltation 374 

23. Of his state of humiliation.. 375 

24. Of Christ's conception 375 

25. Of Christ's birth 376 

26. Of Christ's youth 377 

27. Of Christ's office as a prea- 
cher 378 442 

28. Of Clirist's sulTerings 379 

29. Of Christ's exaltation 380 

30. Of Christ's descension into hell 380 

31. Of .Christ's resurrection ... 381 

32. Of Christ's ascension 393 

33. Christ sitting on the right 

hand of God 394 

34. Of God's reconciliation with 

men 4U6 

35. Of Christ's highpriestly office 407 

36. Of Jhe calling to the enjoy- 
ment of Christ's benefits . . 441 

37. Of repentance 455 

38. Of justification 478 

39. Of faith 501 

40. Of good works . . 527 

41. Of conversion 537 

42. Of man's renewing. 563 



X 



Contents. 



43. Of regeneration 567 53. 

44. Of the consistency of the re- 54. 
generated 580 55. 

45. Of the union with Christ . . . 589 

46. Of the sacraments in general 610 56. 

47. Of the sacrament of baptism 632 57. 

48. Of thesacrament of the Lord's 

Supper 662.., 58. 

49. Of the mass 707"' i 59. 

50. Of the office of the ministry 746 ' go. 

51. Of the christian church... 796 gl. 

52. Of the Antichrist 849 



Of death 868 

Of the immortality of the soul 880 
Of the slate of the soul after 
death 881 

Of purgatory 886 

Of the resurrection from the 

dead 898 

Of the glorified bodies 912 

Of the last judgment 922 

Of eternal life 933 

Of hell and eternal condem- 
nation 937 



The Author's Introduction. 



It is said in scripture, „that the just shall live by Ms faith", 
Habak. 2, 4. It is therefore incumbent upon every believer, 
to acquaint himsdf with the means by wich he might acquire 
a right perception of God, andof the faith and confidence which 
are due to Ham. And for all this he must be able to adduce 
proper evidence, which might strengthen him to confess the Son 
of God boldly before the world, and be ready alway to „gwe 
an answer to every man that asheth him a reason of the faith, 
that is in him" Pet. 3, 15; and finally that he might be enabl- 
ed effectually to resist the enemies of his creed and to defend 
his own faith. But this is especially called for at times, when 
either in the days of healthfiil gnjoyment, or on departing this 
life, he is assaulted by the great Enemy of the human race 
with divers temptations and doubts. 

It is therefore of great importance to give to the humble 
Christian the sincere milk of the divine word; that is, a state- 
ment of the saving faith of Christianity, in its purity as de- 

1 



2 The author's Introduction. 

duced from the word of God; not, as if thereby it was inten- 
ded to say, that every Christan is bound to engage in reli- 
gious controversies, but in that^ under circumstances', he 
might be furnished with proper reasons concerning his faith, 
and also for the pu^ose of enabling him to be guarded against- 
unscriptual teaching and against the wilful attacks of Satan, 

In order,, however, that this book might also be of ser- 
vice, to the more humble Christian as well as to those of youn- 
ger years, it is proposed to give as concise and simple as pos- 
sible , an Instruction on all the important points of faith. 

Grod grant, . that this undertaking may bring honour to bis 
name and that it may serve, e^specialiy to the more youthful and 
to the pious Christian reader, for a blessed edifie;g,tion. . Amen ! 



Chapter 1. 

All Doctrines, which a Christian has learn and to believe, for the purposes 

of his souls salvation , to are only to be dravvn fron the Bible, tlial is, from 

the prophetic and apostolic scriptures.. 



1. We are able to deduce it from nature, that a severe 
judgment for condemnation is prepared for those, who in their 
lifetime have given thcjipselves to iniquities; their thoughts are 
accusing or else excusing one another in the day when God 
shall judge the secrpts of men, Rom. 2, 1,5, 16. Their con- 
science telhng them, that eivery man has set before him, lite 
and death, salvation and condemnation, according as every 
one would find the right way unto salvation, or else miss it. 

2. There exist, pn this head, divers opinions 9jad perceptions 
among the different nationsj'.so that some of them have under- 
taken to find this way by means of their own reason; as, 
for instance, the Jigathens of old, of which every one has at- 
tempted his own fancies on the subject, by the help of which 
he meant to please God, and after his death to be admitted 
into His presence, professing thejmselves to be wise they be- 
came fools, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind, 
Rom.. 1, 22. 28. 

3. Thus, th? Turks have their Mahomed, whom they honour 
as a great prophet. They maintain to be able, to find in the 
Koran all that is requisite for their eternal salvation. 

4. The (modern) Jews have the scriptures of Moses and 
the prophets, but besides them also the traditions of the elders 
(Matth. 15, 2.), out of which they have composed the talmud, 
to which they, in the hardness ©f their hearts pay more regard, 
than to. the writings of Moses and the prophets. 

5. We, who are distinguished by the name of Ghristians, 
believe ► and confess, the writings of the apostles and prophets 
(which together are usually called the Bible) to be the only 
pv/re word of God, and the only means by which men could 
receive instruction from God, as to what was necessary for 
them to know concerning their souls Salvation, and their eternal 
welfare. And for the purpose of a clearer perception of this 
subject, three points are to be attended to: 



4 Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. 

Which hooks are to be comprised under the expression 

„Bible." 
Wliether those books, tvhich are now recognised to be a part 

of the Bible, neally are the word of God; 
whether this written word of God is so complete, as to 

contain all is that which is requisite for us to knoto. 

6. As regarding the first of these questions, which books 
namely are to be comprised under the expression „Bible", the 
following distinction is to be kept in view. There are!, among 
the books, which are to be found in the Bible, some which 
have undoubtedly been written by the prophets and apostles 
themselves; of others it is questionable. ■ We have certainty 
concerning those books of the Old tesimnent, which have been 
composed in the language of the Jewish nation, namely in the 
Hebrew; or, during the Babylonian captivity, in the Chaldee; 
of such books , accordingly , as nave not been com- 
posed in 'that language, we may rest assured that they are 
not from God. For he has comitted his infalKble word, and 
all that he 1ms spoken, unto the Jews, in a language which 
they understood, Eom. 3, 2. 

7. Such undoubted books are: the five books of Moses, 
tl^ book of Joshua ; Judges, Ruth, the books of Samuel , the 
books of kings, the Chronicles, the books of Nehemia, Esra, 
Esther, Hiob, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of 
Salomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah and his Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, 
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micha, Nahum, Haba- 
kuk, Zephania, Hagai, Zechariah, Malachi; the rest, as, the 
wisdom of Salomo, Judith,, Tobias, Jesus Sirach, Barueh, the 
books of Maccabees , and a piece of Esther, have, because they 
have been composed in the greek langibage, not been committed 
to the Jews. They are therefore anexed to the bible, only as 
being useful books and as a means of improving and guiding 
us in our earthly pilgrimage, because they are not of a suffici- 
ently sure foundation, to enable us to rest our faith solely upon 
them, as the fact is not estabhshed, of their having been written 
by the prophets. ' 

8. Tn the New testament those books are looked upon as 
constituting part and parcel of the Bible, which have been 
handed down, by the apostles, to the primitive Church. They 
have therefore at all times been recognised as apftstolical 
writings, and as' such never been doubted. They are: the 
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, hvke and John; the Acts of the 
apostles, the epistle to the Romans, Corinthans (2), Galatians, 
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians (2), Ti- 
mothy (2), Titus, Philemon, the first Epistle of Peter, and 
the first Epistle of John. Concerning the remainder, as, the 



Chaj). I. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. 5 

second Epistle of Peter, the second and third Epistle of John, the 
Epistle to the Hebrews , the Epistles of James and Jude, and 
the Revelation, there Wve sometimes been started doubts as 
to their being really the productions of the apostles, but without 
any reason whatsoever.- They. are indeed, because of the ac- 
complishment of the prophecies which they contain, as also 
because of the internal characteristics of the holy spirit, which 
they bear, to be considered as being apostolical, and as written 
by inspiration. 

[From the proceeding remarks it appears evident that 
such parts of the New testainent, concerning which there 
have Tbeen started some doubts as to their identity, are 
not to ba put on a parallel with the books of doubtful origin, 
which are frequently found annexed to the Old testament, and 
which are genaealy called the Apocrypha. They are, on the 
contrary, together with those parts of the Old and New Te- 
stament which are of established identity, — because of their 
having been given by inspiration — to be considered as ca- 
nonioal writings. — The whole complex of inspired writings is 
designated by the term „Canon", because of its having been 
given to us as the only rule and guide by which our faith 
and conduct are to be directed. The question as to what has 
a right to a place within the Canon of the Old testament has 
been decided by the New testament; as to that of the New 
testament, the primitive Church and their own intrinsic quality 
have irrevocably pronunced. 

Human reason, which has no faith and is enmity against 
the word of God, has, in recent times, exerted all its in^nuity 
and all its learning to question the genuineness of almost" 
every one of the books contained in the bible. But the result 
of all these attacks has been different from what has been 
expected; for they only tended to bring to.hght their own 
contradictions, and to strenghten, if possible, the argument in 
favour of the scriptures. Whereby the saying of the Psalmist, 
— of which every believer is convinced before nand, — has been 
proved' again to be truth „The words of the Lard are pure 
words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth purified seven times." 
Pslm. 12, 6. *)] ' '■ yv 



*) Thai the Bible is, like a great buildingf, a well coimecled, in all its parts 
properly joined together whole, of which no cornerstone, or any other 
member could be separated without destroying the whole, has been 
proved perhaps by no author more succesfully, than by Dan. Joach. 
Koeppen, in a work, decidedly the most important with regard to the 
evidences , which the lutheran church has produced , and which has 
the title „The bible, a work of divine wisdom". (Die Bibel ein 
Werk gottlicher Weisheit) 2 Vol. 3. edit. Lipzig 1837. 



6 Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of sdvation. 

> 

9. The truth of the second question: whether namely the 
books, which are acknowledged to make up the bible, really are 
the word of God, can be estaWished upon the following grounds. 

A.. Because that there exists, besides the biblical writings, 
nothing that could be acknowledged to be word of. God. God 
has created men with a disj)08iti6n , which natyraly compels 
him, to seek for a God, to acquaint himself with His na>ture 
and to pay Him divine honours. It is remarkable that there 
is none among all the existing nations, and there never existed one 
which did not profess and honour a God. And history mo- 
reover teaches us sufficiently, that nations, ■ as long as they 
were without a divine revelation, preferred the worship of an 
unknown God, Acts. 17, 23. to their existing without- an object 
of veneration. Yea, they have even, that they might not be 
altogether without a God, worshipped insensible animals, oxen 
goats, or the sun and the moon, the stars, the fire, herbs and 
garden fruits, wood and stones. Which observation convinces 
us that God has created man to the end that he might know 
and worship Him. — 

10. But that man might be able to know and worship Him, 
it was necessary for, God to reveal Himself unto him and to 
teach him, how and by what means He desires to be served. 
„for He dwells in a light which no man can approach unto", 
1 Timot. 6, 16. 

11. if we then look about us, for the word of revelation 
in which God might have revealed himself, we find either an 
Old, which derives its origine fi-om the oldest times, or a 
New word, which had been revealed but recently [a pretended 
or a true word."] '/ 

12. When we look more particularly to the Old, we might 
find it either to be the voice of the Oracle, which,- in olden times, 
responded to the questions of the heathen , and concerning 
which their priests impressed them with the notion, that they 
had received it from the Gods; or it must be the word which 
God has spoken unto the f athers , ' and , by means of which. 
He has made Himself known more and more unto the Jewish 
nation; more especially to the fathers of the same, to Abraham, 
Isaac and Jacob, which the prophets has afterwards acquainted 
them^ with, until it has pleased God, perfectly to explain the 
same to the Apostles by His Son, and to cause their being 
reduced to writing and thus preserved. There is, consequently, 
no third revelation to be found, which has in any way laid 
claim to being a revelation of Gtod. 

13. The true word of God can certainly not be that, which 
the heathen of old were in possession of, and which dated its 
origin from a few hunderd, or perhaps thousand years after the 



Chap. •!. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. 7 

creation of the world; which would mean as much, as that 
God,'for a long space of time had not been known, or worshipped 
by any men. Moreover, from the circumstance of its falling mto 
disuse 1800 years ago, we would have to in|p, that God, ever 
since that time has not been known and worshipped by inen. 

14. It can therefore not be doubted, that that word 
by means of which God has revealed himself of old, is that 
in which he has spoken to the fathers, to the people of Israel, 
to the prophets, through Christ, and his apostles for the pur- 
pose of revealing Himself unto mankind, and which He has 
caused to be reduced into writing, and collected into the bible. 

15. If we turn to the New, or to that which has recently 
been professed to contain the word of God we meet with five 
different pieces : 

a) iha Jewish, Talmud, 

b) the Koran of the Twrhs, 

c) th^ tradiMons, which the Papists profess to possess, along 
• with the decrees of the popes and councils, ■ 

d) the revelations , whidh in our days some profess to have 
been favoured with, 

e) the prophetic and apostolic scriptures, which we call the bible. 
[The bible is at once the oldest and the newest revelation; 

with its conclusion revelation has ceased for ever. There has 
been none before that mentioned in the l^ible, there is none 
besides it, nor shall there ever come to pass one after it.] 

16. ^. The Jewish Talmud, acknowledges the prophetic 
scriptures which we call the Old Testament to be the true word 
of God.' It contains mothiag, but different comments upon 
prophetib writiOgs, along with many fables, the invention of 
thei Jewsi of old. The prophetic scriptures are therefore, # 
according to the admission of the Talmud itself entitled to a 
precedence before the latter, and is to be pronounced upon, 
m accordance with the first. 

17. b. The Koran is a compound of biblical phrases, Je- 
wish superstitiofls and ceremonies, and Arian heresies. It admits 
the writings of Moses and the Prophets to be the word of 
God, and Christ to be a great prophet and the Son .of God. 
But altough by this confession it bears witness to the sayings 
of Christ and the prophets, and thus evidences, that mankind 
have been taught by them previous to its ovm existence, the 
Koran is nevertheless not to be preferred to the scrip- 
tures. 

18.. c. 2he tr'aditions, which are professed by the papist, 
they themselves consider merely as a^suplement, which 
ought to be added to the biblical writings, for the better under- 
standing of the same; and thereby acknowledge the bible 



8 Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. 

to be the word of God. But as for these traditions, the papists 
are unable to adduce any proofs of their really having a divine 
origin, and as they are found frequently to contradict the word 
of God, we are j)revented from recognizing them to be the 
word of God. 

19. d. The papal law is a human institution which fre- 
quently contradicts the word of God, but confesses nevertheless 
the holy scriptures to be the word of God. It is therefore not 
to be looked upon as the word of God, much less to be pre- 
ferred to the Bible. 

20. e. What has been produced in our days from some 
visionaries, can in no way mislead us, in asmuch as they all 
admit the Bible to be , the word of God, and as they all con- 
sent to have their visions adjudged upon biblical grounds, 
whether they be really of God, or of some, other being. 

21. f. We may therefore rest assured, that among all those 
communications, which pretend to lay claim to being a 
divine Revelation, non can possibly have any title to this di- 
stinction, but the prophetic and apostolic writings; for aU those 
books, which pretend to the character of being the word of 
God (though they are in reality not so) agree in the testi- 
mony, that these biblical writings are to be considered and 
honoured as a divine revelation. 

22. JTiat these biblical books are in reality the word of God 
is evident also from the fad, • 

B. That the New Testament is proved by the Old Testa- 
ment to be the word of God, and even so the Old Testament by 
the New. The Bible is divided into two parts, namely the Old 
and New Testament, the relation of which to mch other is of 
such a nature, that the one forcibly testifies the other. For 
the prophets of the Old Testament have prophecied concerning 
the Lord Messiah, that he should spring from the house of 
Abraham, Judah and David; that he should be bom of a virgin 
at Bethlehem, at a period, when the 69 weeks, spoken, of by 
Daniel, should have been completed (chap. 9, 24. 25.) ; that he 
should be a great teacher; that he should accomplish many 
signs and wonders , in consequence of which he was to be 
despised by his own ; that he should be sold for money, spite- 
fully mocked, beaten, yea even put to death. But also that 
he should rise again from his grave, ascend into the heavens, 
and sit on the right hand of God , there to govern , until he 
his return to the final jugement; that, in the mean, 
time he should cause his peace to be preached to every creature, 
and gather many nations around him; whilst his own people 
which had rejected him, he was now to reject, and instead of 
them gather the heatheij into his inheritance. 



Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. 9 

23. Now, to predict completly and circumetantially fact* 
which were to come to pass after the laplae of several centu- 
ries, can only be possible to him, to whom all things are 
known, even the thoughts and works of those, men, which are 
to come into existence after hundreds or thousands of years, 
which is the only, the true, the living God. It is true, that a 
man also is sometimes able to predict something which is to come 
to pass, at a later period as is don© by the devil (who ha& also so- 
metimes predicted the like) ; but such a prediction must always be 
doubtful and resting upon suppositions, which toay easily prove 
a failure. And it is for this,- that the prophecies of the oracles 
have always been enveloped in doubtful words, thus deceiving 
its votaries ; and that also all the predictions which are attempted 
in our days turn out to be more fallacies than truth. 

24. It is tjjjerefbre certain that the word, or the scripture, 
which has predicted something at a period, for which it had 
then not the least possible clue or indication, and in so doing 
hadt entered upon the greatest mimdiae, which had after- 
wards actually come to pass, — that such writings must 
indeed contain the* words of the omniscient living God, and 
that is to be esteemed as such. 

25. Now every prediction which by Moses and the Pro- 
phets concerniiig the Saviour of the world, at a period in which 
not the remotest suspicion re^rding it could have existed, has 
all; proved to be infallible. For 'it is impossibile to produce 
even the most insignificant fact, the fiilfilment of, which can be 
shewn to be wanting in the history of Jesus of Nazareth. And 
thus, the writings of the prophets are shewn evidently to be 
an emanation of.*the Omniscient, living God, and are therefore 
to be looked upon as His word. ' 

2B.", Jesus of Nazareth, has moreover been a prophet, for 
he „had given him "the tongue of the learned", Isa. 50, 4; whom 
God has anointed to pr^eaoh good tidings. Isa. 61, 1; and he has 
been granted us with the command, that unto him we should 
hearken, Deut. 18, 15, 19. It has been testified, that he, was 
the promised teacher, by the accomplishmert of all the thing^, 
which the prophets had predicted, and it is therefore evident 
that the word of this healvenly, divine and great prophet is to 
be regarded as the word of God; and also that the \yrttings 
of the Apostles are of divine origin, for Jesus expressly says 
concerning his apostles „}ie that hearetb you, heareth me", Luk. 
10, 16. 

27. And it is especially not to be omitted, that this testi- 
mony is confirmed on the part of the most*«eaZoMs ^emies of 
Christianity. The Jews are in possesion of the prophetic scrip- 
tures. We may rest assured from their bitter animosity to- 



ta Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of sal^^tiori. 

wards Christians , that they diemselves would have neither 
written nor spoken anything in favour of the Christian creed. 
And yet the Christians appeal, in their controversies with the 
Jews, to this very word, which is in hands of. these their ene- 
mies; for just those scriptures testify, that Jesus of Nazareth 
is a great teacher, whOm God has sent, that he might still 
more reveal Hjs Word, and those documents accordingly which 
he has caused to be committed to writing by his disciples, are 
the infallibile word of God. 

28. That the biblical books are indeed the word of God, 
is also evident froth the fact, that 

C. God has supported Sis word by miracles. God gave, 
along with His word, also miracles. This took place at the 
time, wheM he gave unto Abraham, contrary to the course of 
nature^ a son and made a convenant with him. Genes. 17, 7; 
18, 10. As He was about to grant unto the children of Israel 
His law and His word, He prepared them for it by many 
miracles, with which He redeemed them from the bondage of 
Egypt, Exod. 7, 9. 16. He fed them with the bread and. the 
meat fronl heaven, Exod. 16, 13. 14. 15. We read moreover 
of the miracles, which were performed in the history of Elijah 
1. Kings 17, 6.18; 36. 1—38; and of others prophets^ But all 
this has been ordained by God to come to pass, because He 
would not leave his word without sure proofs, but would testifiy 
in favour of it by divine works, that every man might be con- 
vinced by them, that it is indeed the word of God. 

29. And that there might be no doubt, as to the genui- 
neness of the miracles performed by Moses and the other pro- 

Ehets, due care has been taken by divine Providence, that the 
itterest enemies of the Jews from the heathen world should 
bear witness to the credibility of the same. 

30. Moreover no attempt has ever been made to deny the 
signs and wonders, performed by the Lord Jesus and his 
apiostles, as recorded to us in scripture. The Jewish historian 
Josephus himself, has borne ample witness i- in favour of the 
same, and they are, besides by other historians, acknowledg- 
ed also by the Jews themselves in their talmud; [P. Galatino 
de Atoanis catholicae veritatis lib. 8. cap. 5). 

31. We are thus enabled to establish the following con- 
clusion. That that word, which is supported by miracles, must 
indeed be the word of God, and that the contents of prophe- 
tic and apostolic scriptures, after they have been duly suppor- 
ted by the miraculous working of divine power, must indeed 
be the word of God. 

32. Some might object, that these wonders have beeti 
wrought, merely fer the support of the subject matter which 



Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. U 

is contained in the bible, but not at all for the purpose of 
evidencing that the bible Itself is the word of God. But there 
have also been wrought a sufficient number of miracles to the 
end, that they might evidence the holy scriptures itself to be 
be the word of God. Thus we know, that: 

33. a. Altough they have been written, in a langiiage so 
simple, as to be scorned by the world; and although their 
teaching appeareth to be enmity and folly to the human reason, 
they have nevertheless been accepted and defended by a great 
many nations. Many among them have preferred submitting 
cheerfully to the most ignominious death, ere they consented 
to part with the scriptuareSj which fdct can only be caused by 
the power of God. 

34. b. This word has been preserved in spite of the 
manifold persecutions to which it has been subjected. Thus at 
tho period the Israelites were subjected to the Philistines 
Moabiies, and other nfetions. Judges. 2, 14. 3; 8, 12. especi- 
ally during Israel's captivity in Assyria, as well as, Ju'da s in 
Babylon ; during disturbances which took place under the reign 
of the Maecab. and subsequently under that of the Romans, 
during which latter the Jews were dispersed, fearfully per- 
secuted , spoiled and sold as slaves , to other nations. 
Subsequently, the' Christians also have been subjected to 
severe persecutions on the part of the KomaU emperors. Du- 
ring all these persecutions nothing in the world has been 
persecuted,' with more determination, than the holy scriptures 
which yet God has preserved, in spite of all human efforts ; — 
all wich is to be looked upon as an evident miracle of divine 
Providence. 

35. o. That it is the word of God alone, which is able to 
chensWand comfort our souls, for even the perusal of all the 
writings of all the heathen philosophers and savans* is not able 
to give a lasting peace to a mourning and troubled conscience. 
Whilst on the contrary the holy scriptures are so replete with 
comfort, that there can be no trouble, to the alleviation of which 
there could not be found in it a remedy and that but from them a 
powerful and heartfelt peace is really to be obtained. Which proves 
this word to be work of Him, to whom every desire and every 
necessity of men is knoWri, as well as the remedies of the same. 
But this again belongs neither to men nor to angels, but alone 
to God. 

36. d. That those, who have withstood this word or 
blasphemed it, have been visited with evident purdshtnefd from 
the divine hand. As for instance^ Antiochus, 2. Mdccb. 9, 5; 
Herod, Acts 12, 23 ; the Roman Emperors Nero, Maxentius, 
Diocletianus, Julianus and others ; concetliing all of whom God, 



12 Chap. I. Foundation »f the doctrin'e of Balvation. 

who alone is able to subdue marj, has evidently manifested His 
will to preserve His word in spite of all the artifices which man 
could devise. 

37. e. That men undeniably stand in need of such a 
word, which might teach them air that was requisite for them 
to know concerning their Salvation, as also for the defeat of 
every heresy, which might possibly be broached; for the pur- 
poses of an honest and c/odh/ life, of piire worship and to their 
comfort in cases of sickness, persecution, demise of friends, 
and in the time of their own death etc. , to produce such a 
word is quite impossible for men's wisdom, it is only in the 
power of Him to whom the only means are known, by which 
man can assure himself of his eternal salvation ; — - of him to 
whom all heresies are knoV^n before hand; who is a discerner 
of hearts. Who alone knows the worship with- which He 
Himself is well pleased, who is able to satisfy all our wants, and 
to comfort the ' mourning hea^t even in the hour of death ; and 
who is able to provide help in every time of need. But all 
this is only possible to the true atid living God. 

38. The holy scriptures or the Bible is a book which 
abundantly provides us, with the knowledge, of all that con- 
cerns our salvation, the defeat of all heresies, the worship of 
God, a godly life and all the comforts we stand in need of. 
Concerning aU these points nothing can be pointed out, as 
betraying an insufficiency in the holy scriptures ; but they have, 
on the contrary, been made uS'e of by thousands of Christians 
for their comfort , and who have found them to be sufficient in 
every respect, which is stiU the case. Which proves that 
the holy scriptures are indeed the word of God. 

[Besides the testimonies adduced already in behalf of the 
assertion, that the scriptures are indeed the word of God, we 
propose here to state, somewhat more explicitly than has been 
,the case in the preceeding argument, the testimonies which 
the scriptures assert in their own behalf. This testimony, in 
accordance vnth divine and human night takes the first place 
amongst the evidences produced in behalf of scripture. The 
scriptures, though a means for the good of man, are yet to be 
regarded as the word of God, as is proved by St. ¥^n\, 
1 Thess. 2, 13: „When ye received the word of God which 
ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as 
it is in truth, the word of God." — God himself also testifies 
that He has put His word into the mouth of the prophet, 
Isa. 41, 21 ff. ; 2 Pet. 1, 21 : „For prophecy came not in old 
time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they 
were moved hy the holy ghost;" Matth. ,10, 19 the Lord says 
to his disciples. „When they deliver you up, take no thought 



Chap. I. Foundation of the doctrine of salvation. 13 

how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that 
same hour what ye shall speak; /or it is not you that speak 
hut the spirit of your father which speaketh in you." Likewise 
1 Cor. 2, 12. 13: „We have received not he spirit of the world, 
but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the thmgs 
that are freely given to us of God; which things we also 
speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but 
which the holy ghost teacheth." Which proves that all which 
has been said by the apostles and prophets , even to the very 
words they made use of in giving utterance to that which had 
been shewn' them by the Holy ghost, had been inspired bythelatter, 
and that all their words are to be looked upon as the word 
of God; „He that heareth jou heareth me", says Christ to his 
disciples, Luk^ 10, 16. 

All that has been sfiid concerning the word of mouth, 
holds also good with regarding to the written word; for we 
know that the latter, after the immediate messages oi God had 
ceased, was to be the only infallible truth, that should endure 
tor all times and be free from every error. The apostle ac- 
cordingly writes to Timothy, 2 Chap. 3, 16: „An (that is 
the whole) scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 
profitable for doctrine, reproof." etc. It is true that tHs saying 
hrs immediate reference to the Old Testament; but there is no 
reason for its not also holding good Arith regard to the New. 
— If follows therefore, that the whole volume of scripture 
has been inspired by God; and that it contains nothing, ever 
so insignificant, that has not been inspired by God, and that 
there is no doubt of its containing in all parts the pure and 
undefiled truth. 

This testimony scripture produces on its own behalf, 
has a convincing power on every soul that loves the truth, and 
that is Avilling to submit itself to the influence of that spirit, 
which is speaking to us out of the same; 1 John 5, 6: „And 
it is the spirit that heareth witness (that is: to the heart, and 
convinces) because the spirit (that is: the testimony of the 
spirit, as laid down in the written word), is tnith." — Wherever 
these internal arid external testimonies do agree with each 
other, there always result a confidence and a faith, which 
cannot be shaken by any argument which unbelieving, human 
reason is able to produce.] ^ 

39. Concerning the third question: Whether, this word 
is so complete, as to contain every thing, which is necessary 
for us to mow, we answer in the affirmative. For it _wiU be 
shewn in the sequel, that all we ought to kntJW concerning our 
faith can be established from holy scripture; [be it either ex- 
pressly mentioned in scripture, or deduced from its statements]. 



14 Chap. I. Foundation of the" doctrine of salvation. 

40. The scriptures, moreover, have been granted to us, 
that we might be instructed by them concerning our faiih and 
go<Siness £and that by it, as by a touchstone, we should try and 
adjudge Ihe merits of every thing.] For the Lord Jesus sa^s : 
J<jh, 5, 39. „Search the scriptures, ^hey are they which testijfy 
of me." Ajid Abraham recommends, the rich man , as the 
means of preserving his" brethean from eternal condemnation 
„tib.ey have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them," Luk. 
26, 20. St. John concludes' his Gospsl with the following ad- 
monKaon, 20, 31. „but these (things) have been \M:itten, that 
ye might have life through his name," 2. Timoth. ^3, 16. We 
are told that „all scripture is given by inspiration of God^ 
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for 
instruction in righteousness that the man of God may bp 
perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works; and in the 
verse preceeding, 'Hfrom a child thou hast known the holy 
scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." 
We would accordingly do best unflinshingly to adhere tP this 
directory of our faith, and therefore refuse to listen, as to what 
the Pope, or the assembly of the councils etc. determine upon, 
considering that they are all men even like others, whose teach-' 
ings and thoughts ought to be directed by the holy scriptu- 
res; remembermg the solemn declaration and admonition we 
read, John 4, 1. „Believe not every spirit, hut try the spirits 
whetJier they are o/" God, because many false prophets nave 
gone out into the world." 

[If scripture is to be to us the only rijle of faith and life, 
it must be, in all things which it is necessary for us to know 
for our salvation, so clear and explicit, that we might be able 
by it to come to such a knowledge. Thus St. Paul ^vrites 2. 
Timot. 3, 15: „From a child thou hast kno^vn the scriptures, 
which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith 
which is in Christ Jesus. Besides, God did not intend to leave 
us in darkness with regard to our salvation, and the way lea- 
ding thereto. That the Bible nevertheless has met with so 
many different, frequently contradictory explanations, is not the 
fault of scripture, but a consequence of the blindness of hu- 
man reason, which is anxious to find in scripture a confcma- 
tion ^of its own errors. — For a right understanding of the 
scripture it is necessary for us to have the assistance of the 
Holy spu-it, ,and an humble mind, and to compare single pas- 
sages with the whole tenure of scripture. Nor ought we to 
forget the rule that the more difficult and intricate pSsa^es do 
feequently receive stheu- light from such parts of scriptures as 
a,re clearer and more accessible to our understandinef and that 
the first ought therefore to be made to agree with the latter 



Chap. H. ;Scheme «f salvation. 25 

Every one therefore, who studies the scripture, as he iias been 
bid to do by the Jjoxd himiself John, 5, 39. is sure to find 
in it Christ and in him life eternal, as has been the case urith 
the oriiodoie chwrch of all agea.l 



Chapter II. 

The wholp work of our ss(lvation comprises man's original 'righteousness, his 

fall, God's ^ercifal purposes, and Ihe means by which He will have us 

come to salvation. 



41. As the whole wori? of our salvation is intended to be 
treated of in this treatise, it wiU be necessary for the christian 
reader to turn his attention to the following essentiafls which 
we purpose to lay before him. 

God iias cre?(.ted men , Adam and Eve in a state of per- 
fect righteousness and true holiness; and if ithey had continued 
to, be obedient to their creator, and in aU the hgly walk con- 
sistent with His laws, whiqhHe thought fit to lay upon them,. 
Gpd would have preseryed them in their immortal state, and the 
wellbeing of .their souls and bodies. 

42. But in that man had been induced, bdng tempted hy 
the devil, contrary to the express will of God to eat of Ihe tree 
of the knowledge of good and evil, he has sinned against 
God, and has become unrighteous and unholy. Whereby he 
has lost his original righteousness and holiness, and has be- 
come subject to the punishment of God, as weU as to the ser- 
vice ef Satan. 

43^. This deplorable state he has transmitted to his deseen- 
dpiBts. For his children are subject to sin ' and to the divine 
curse, and that not only because of the unrighteousness which 
they rhave inherited, but also because of the sins, which th^ are 
committing daily* They are therefore as /well as their rchfldren 
unholy; and thus the whole human race has become subject 



Ig Chap. n. Scheme of salvation. 

to the judgment and condemnation of God, whose ngh^^ 
ness cannot but condemn each and all, as disobedient children 
to utter destruction. 

44. But in spite of His just iiidignation, ^od has yet 
shewn His mercy to the humanrafee, and has purposeQ to ueip 
and restore them again into Hjs kingdom. . , 

' 45 But such could not take place unless the divine ngui 
eousness had been before satisfied. But it was i°*e power 
neither of men, nor of angels, nor of any other creature m hea- 
ven or upon earth, to propitiate ^^^^ jUstisce for aU the 
sins of mankind. There remained therefore no other retu£ 
for mankind but God alone, and that He should reconcile them 
unto himself. 

46. This has been accomplished; the Son of God came 
from the father, and took upon him the nature of /nan (yet 
without sin) ; he has appeared instead of menbetore the judg- 
ment seat of God, has yielded that obedience to the L.aw which 
God requires of mankind; he feas borne the punishment otthe 
divine wrath, which we have deserved; has offered himself as 
a propitiation for till our sins upon the crose, and paid a ran- 
som for his people with his blood and his death. For the 
righteousness of God has now no other claim upon us, on ac- 
count of our transgressions, for we appear before the throne 
of God just as pure and holy, as if we had never been sin- 
ners. 

47. Now the work of redemption is just like the state of 
certain captives, whose liberty has been already bought -ndth 
the necessary ransom. Suppose that at the instance of their 
liberty being anounced to them, some of them do accept of 
their redemption, believe that they have been thus rasomedfor, 
consequently gain their liberty, and thus actually enjoy the work 
of redemption. But if some among them should either imagine, 
that they were- not at all in captivity and had therefore no 
need of a ransom being paid for them, or that they were 
themselves best fitted to affect their liberation and did there- 
fore not at aU care for the ransom, another had paid for 
them; or suppose, they put their confidence in other people 
by whom they hoped their liberation could be accomplish- 
ed, and had therefore no desire whatsoever afiJer him, who 
had actually redeemed them, nor after his proffered redemption ; 
or that they reason by themselves that „though the redemp- 
tion _ belongs to. those few, who have left already the prison 
yet it has no referenee whatever to themselves, and can therefore 
derive no benefit fi:om the same", or that they look upon the 
news of their liberation, as a concoction of folly and untruths 



Chap. n. Scheme of Salvation. 17 

as merely intencjing to raise vain hopes iii their hearts; all 
prisoners of such a description would, of course, remain in 
their prison, go to destruction and actually not enjoy the re- 
demption, which yet has been completly affected in their behalf. 

48. Accordingly, the Lord Jesus has paid a ransom for 
our sins, and causes such to be preached to us in his gospel, 
giving us the seal of the same in his sacrament, — and if, 
therefore some individuals imagine that they are holy and 
Avithout sins, and therefore do not stand in need of the Lords ran- 
som, or if others desire to propitiate their sins in the face of 
God with good works, so that they should owe God not even 
the least farthing; or again if some put their trust in departed 
saints, the mass of the priests, upon cloisters, or the works 
of monks and nuns ; ' or if the conscience of some is on no 
occasion troubled on account of their sins, and who, therefore, 
in the midst of their transgressions , are leading a happy and 
quiet life, being deaf to the preaching of the cross, having no 
desire after a righteousness, which is better than their own, 
or who imagine that Christ may have atoned but for a few, 
and will not admit, that it has been done for them also; or 
if some laugh to scorn the truth, because of its appearing 
foolishness unto them, looking iroon all thatJias been told them 
concerning sin, the grace of God and of Christ (as weak 
hearts, and the children of this world are wont to do,) as a 
parcel of lies — such could not possibly, as long as their minds 
remain unchanged partake of the merits of the Lord Jesus ; 
nor, if they should die in their unbelief, could they have anj- 
claims upon this assured redemption. And this is the unbelief, 
in consequence of the adherence to which even those who, as 
we shall see, have been completly redeemed by the l(lood of 
Christ, are subjected to the wrath of God and to eternal 
destruction. 

49. But if, on the other hand, others again attend to, and 
understand, the preaching of the cross to the end that, as to 
all men has been preached forgiveness of sins, their own sal- 
vation is also included, and that they need therefore not doubt 
it to be the will of God, that they should be free from sin 
and thus saved; that Christ has washed away their sins; — 
if such find peace for their consciences upon the assurance 
that they possess a mighty Redeemer and a merciftil God, 
who after this life, will grant them eternal salvation — such 
have the true faith, whom God loves, within whose souls He 
delights to dwell and whom after departing this life, in confi- 
dence upon Him a,nd upon Christ, He will receive in His 
eternal kingdom ; whose bodies He mil raise again on the last 

2 



18 Chap. III. The nature and attributes of God. 

day from the dead, to glorify them, and to unite them a,gain 
with their souls, that they might rgoixse unceasingly in an 
eternal existence. This is the smn of the whole christian xaitn, 
upon which rests our eternal wellfare and salvation, the tartnear 
illustration of which shall now be attempted. 



er m. 

God, with whom our salvation originates, is a spiritud Being, Eternal, 

Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Infinite, True, Merpitul, Holy 

and Just. 



50. All that can be said concerning our well-being rests 
upon these three points, viz : 

the knowledge of God, 

the will of God, and 

the works of God, 
the first of which points is to occupy as now, that we might 
be enabled to know that God, to whom we owe our existence, 
and who is the only and principal source of our happiness. 

51. The knowledge of God forms an important part of the 
christian religion, it being an earnest of a future life, as we find 
it designed m book of Wisdom. 15, 3: „for to Imaw thee, 
(God) is perfect righteousness ; yes to tmow thy power is 
the root of immortality." And the Lord Jesus says : „And 
this is life eternal, that they might hnow thee the oilly tme 
God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou bast sent," John. 17 3. 

52. During this our earthly existrace this knowledge Can 
be but imperfect and in patts, „for now we see through a 
glass, darkly, 1. Cor. 13, 9. 12. It is nevertheless j our duty, 
in as far ar it has pleased Him to reveal Himself to make 
ourselves ac(juainted, with 'His character. We have therefoite 
to inquire: 

a) what is the nature of God? 

b) whether there is more than one God ? 
0) who is the true God? 

in order that we might not be tempted to „ohange the glory of the 



Chap. III. The nature and attributes of God. 19 

incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible 
man", Rom. 1, 23, [or to „give His glory to another", or 
„His praise to graven images", Isa. 42, 8. 

53. Conceraing _the_ first question „what the nature of God 
is" there is with this in reality another question expressed, 
mainely, what are we to imagine, when we think of God? 
To give an answer to this question is by no means easy, 
since our conceptions are mostly accessible but to earthly 
subjects, and such as can be comprehended by our senses. 

We learn in His word as much concerning God , that He 
is a Spirit, Eternal^ Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Infi- 
nite. True, Merciful, Holy and Just. More we are not able 
to learn, Ifor are we at aU fit to comprehend any thing of God, 
except by His a^btetes, of which a great many are mentioned, 
but out of which the selection of the following ten will sirffice. 

54. A.. God is a Spirit; He has nothing like flesh and 
bone; „a spirit hath no flesh and bone", JjuS. 24, 29. Now 
God is a Spirit, as we are taught by the Lord Jesus, Joh. 
4, 24 J and, accordingly, when speaking of a Spirit it is im- 
plied, that with reference to God we are not to ima^e anythr 
ing bodily ; but that we should divest our mind of this Idea. 
For just as the Angels, las well as the hitman souls, are spi- 
rits, divested of every thing bodily, so God is also a Spirit, 
though one of greater purity and perfection than either of them. 
[A Spirit is a Being, whidi is possessed of reason and will, 
and which is conscious of its own existence ; this is applicable, 
to God in the highest sense of the word : He is the Spirit 
of all Spirits, the living and personal God]. 

55. B.'God is Eoerlasling; this attribute is given to Him, 
Genes. 21, 33. Abraham called upon the name of the Ever- 
lasting God. The divine Being is called, Rom. 1, 20 : the eter- 
nal Godhead, Rom. 16, 26 ; 1. Timoth. 1, 17. The word Eter- 
nal includes three things: 

a. That, with God, there is no beginning ; Pslm. 40, 2 : „Before 
the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed 
the earth and the -world, \even from everlasting to everlasting. '■'■ 
He thei-efore calls himself the first and the last, before whom 
nothing has been formed, Isa. 41, 4; 43, 10; 44, 6; 48, 12. 

j9. That with God there is no end; He inhabites eternity, 
Isa. 57, 15; He „alone hath immortality", 1. Tim. 6, 16. He 
is „an eoerlastifig king, Jerem. 10, 10; — Pslm. 102, 26. 27 
„they (the heaven and the earth) shall perish, but thou re- 
mainest; yea aU of them shall wax old Eke a garment; as a 
vesture shalt thou Change them, and they shSl be changed. 
But thou remainest, and thy years shall have no end." Da- 

2* 



20 Chap. ni. The nature and attribute? of God. 

niel. 6* 26 „the God of Daniel is a living God, and stedfast for- 
ever, and his kingdom that, which shall not be decoyed, ana 
his dominion shall be ever unto tJie .end." 

y. That God is not subject to the clwmges of time or oj age; 
therefore Pslm. 40, 4. ,.for a thousand years in thy sight, 
are but as yesterday when it ' is past." Now the Yesterday , is 
passed, and therefore [to us, as it were] as no time at all, 
and thus a thousand years are before God like no time at all. 
This is still more clearly expressed in the 2. Epistle of Peter 
3, 8: „one day is with the Lord like a thousand years, and a 
thousand years like one day," which would have no meaning 
at all, if God had not been without the limits of time. 

If we therefore say that God is Eoerlasting , we express 
with this: that with God there neither beginning, nor end, nor 
change of time ; His nature remains unchangeably' the same, 
throughout all ages. 

56. C. God is Almighty. This is frequently mentioned in 
scripture, Genes. 17, 1; 28, 3; 35, 11; 43, 14; 48, 3; 49, 25; 
Exod. 6, 3; 2. Cor. 6, 18; Eevel. 1, 8; 16, 7. This attribute 
is exoTesslj declared to belong to God alone. Numb. 11, 23; 
Isa. 50, 2; 59, 1. „the hand of the Lord is not shortened" etc. 
„fle is able to do exceeding abundantly above all tJiat we ask or 
think," Eph. 3, 20; „Hishand and power, who can hinder Mm," 
Job. 11, 10; Isa. 14, 27; Acts. 11, 17. „He giveth to whom 
soever he will," Daniel 4, 32. From this we learn, that in the 
case of God's teaching, promising or threatening anything, 
we ought not to measure his power according as nature ap- 
pears to us; and although the accomplishment of the same 
might appear impossible to us, we ought not consider it to be 
so to God, Zach. 8, 6; Mat. 19, 26; Luk. 1, 37. 

57. D. God is Omniscient, that is: 

a. All future events are known to him ; „thou understandest 
my thougts afar off," Pslm. 139, 2. The prophet Isaias accor- 
dingly, concludes from the fact of the idols not knowing the things 
of the future, that they were no Gods, 41, 22. 23: „let them 
bring them forth and shew us what shall happen ; let th6m shew 
the former things, what they may be, that we may consider 
them, and know the latter end of them; or declare' us the 
things for to come ; shew the things that are to come here- 
after, that we may know that ye are gods." • 

. §• There is nothing hid from him, . whatever may take place: 
be It done hidden or openly, so that He is even able to discern the 
innermost parts of our hearts and know even that which man 
IS most desirous to keep secret, „men looketh at the. outward 
appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heg,rt," 1 Sam 1R 7- 
,,the righteous God trieth the hearts and the reins" Ps 7 9' 



Chap. in. The nature and attributes of God. 21 

,>0 Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins 
and the heart," Jerem. 20, 12; ,,the eyes of the Lord are 
ten thousand times brighter than the sun, beholding all the 
ways of men, and considering the most secret parts," Eccles 
(Sirach). 23, 19; „He that planted the ear, 'shall he not hear, 
He that formed the eye shall he not see?" Pslm. 94, 9. 

58. E. Grod is Omnipresent, Jerem. 23, 23. 24: „Am I a 
God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a- God afar off? 
Do not I_/ill heaven and earth;" 1. King 8, 27: „Will God in- 
deed dwell on the earth? behold the heaven and heaven of hea- 
vens cannot contain thee;" Ps. 139, 7. flf: „Whither shall I go 
from they spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there : if I make my bed 
in hell behold thou art there. K I take the wings of the mor- 
ning and dwell 4n the uttermost parts of the sea ; even there 
shall they hand lead me, and they right hand shall hold me." 

59. But with this assertion it is not attempted to say, that 
God can be any how mcluded (circumscribed) within any of His 
creatures, as little as He can be said to be entirely eajcluded from 
them; We are not able to comprehend how it can be said- of 
God, that He is Omnipresent, since it is established that He 
is a Spirit j and can therefore possess neither substantial parts 
nor members. But is it not our conviction, that the human 
soul is a spirit, which although it cannot be made subject to 
division, is yet present in every part of the body, without our 
being able to assign a sufficient reason for it? Why should 
we tnen object to the doctrine, that the divine Being is Omni- 
present, ' although we might not be able to discern and express 
exactly how this could possibly come to pass. 

It follows naturally that, as God is Omnipresent, He is 
also 

60. W' Immeasmrahle and Infinite; which expressions im- 
ply that the divine Being cannot be circumscribed ; for whilst 
every creature is liable to the influences of measure and boun- 
dary, no limits whatsoever cam be put to the divine Bein^. 

61. Gr. Qod is True; because He always iulfils all His 
promises, Eom. 3, 4: „let God be true, but every man a liar;" 
Ps. 33,4: „the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are 
done in truth;" 1, Sam. 15, 29: „the Strength of Israel will 
not lie, nor repent; for he is not a man that he should repent;" 
Heb. 6, 18 : „It was impossible for God to lie." — Thus Josh- 
ua, on the occasion of his alluding to the promises, which 
God had given to the people of Israel, extols his God in the 
following manner: 23, 14, „Not one thing hath failed of all the 
good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you: all 
are come to pass unto you and not one thing hath failed thereof." 



22 Chap. III. The nature and attributes of God. 

"^e should therefore never for a moment suppose, that (jod 
would deal with us unjustly. And as He gives "^ m tiis 
word assurances of his noercyj we need not suspect, that vntn 
reference to this point He has secretly formed a different de- 
termination — as did, for iustanoe, Cain, when speaking kmmy 
to his brother, at the moment he meditated bis destruction. 

62. HE- God is Merciful; this gives frequently a sumect 
of praise to scripture. „I know that thou art a gracious God, 
and merdful, slow to anger and of great hind/Besa and repentest 
thee of the evil," Jon. 4, 2; — Exod. 34, 6; Nehem. 9, 17; 
Ps. 103, 8j Joel. 2, 13; Micha 7, 18. 19. „Wko is a God 
like unto thee, that partJoneth iniqui^, and jpasseth by the 
transgression of the remnant of his heritage ? He retaineth not 
his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy; he will 
have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and 
thou wUt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea ;" La- 
ment. 3, 22. 23 : „It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not 
consumed, because his compassion, fail not; they are new every 
morning; great is thy faithfulness ; JEccles. (Sirach), 2,23: ,for 
as his majesty is, so is his mercy." 

63. I. God is Holy; Levit. 19, 2: „ye shall be holy, for 
I the Lord your God am also holy;" 1. Sam. 2, 2: „there is 
none holy as the Lord;" Kev. 15, 4: „Who shall not fear thee 
O Lord and glorify thy name ? for thou only art holy." — 
Upon this attnbute is founded the song of the Angels and the 
redeemed, who are crying one to another „holy, holy, holy is 
the Lord of hosts," Isa. 6, 3; Revel. 4, 8. 

64. God is Just; Ps. 11, 7: „For the rigrtoows Lord lovA 
righteousness;" Ps.ll9, 137: „Eighteous art thou, O Lord, and 
upright are they judgments;*' Deutr. 32, 4: „Heis a rock, his 
work is perfect; for all his Avays are judginent: a God of truth 
and without iniquity, just and right is lie j^* Ps. 7, 11: God 
judges ^e righteous etc." — And it is for the same reason jthat 
Solomon writes in the Proverbs. 17, 15. „He that justifieth' the 
wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are 
an abomination to the Lord."_ These are some of the princi- 
pal attributes, by means of which we might acquire some know- 
ledge, respecting the divine Being, and concerning the question, 
what God is. Altough a number of others are also spoken of 
in the Bible, yet those which have been adduced seem to be 
sufficient, to confer a correct idea concerning all that is re- 
quisit to be known respecting God and His nature 



23 



Chapter IV. 

This Everlasting, Almighty etc. God is also the Only God, so that nobody 
ought to recognise any other God besides Him. 



65. The second essential, which it becomes us to acquaint 
ourselves with, is the Unity of God. The heathen have fabled of 
many and divers divinities, which, counted together, would 
amount to thirty thousand. But a few of 'the wise and lear- 
ned among them have nevertheless, by the light of nature 
been brought io the convection, that there can only be one 
God, who has created heaven and earth, and who is the Go- 
vernor and Preserver of the same. 

66. God has moreover revealed Himself in a manner as 
to prove, that besides Him there is no other and thai He Vhust 
needs he the only God, Exod. 20, 3: „Thou shalt have no other 
Gods before me;" Deut. 6, 4 : „Hear O Israel the Lord our 
God is oneLofd;" Mrk. 12, 29; 1. Cor. 8, 6: ,,To us there is 
but one God; the Father, of whom are all , things and we in 
Him;" Isa. 44, 6; „I am the first, and I am the last; and 
besides me there is no God;" v. 8. „Ye are even my witnesses. 
Is there a God beside me? yea there is no God; I know not 
any." ^ 

67. It is unnecessary to enlarge upon this subject because 
of its never having been doubted on the part of any Christian. 
The New Arians, (which call themselves Photinians), [Socini- 
ans, nationalist, Unita.rians] insist upon it, that we nave in 
the New testament two Gods, namely the Father and the Lord 
Jesus Christ; and we intend the next Chapter to be occupied 
with this inquiry, in the course of which we hope to prove 
the Lord Jesus, along mth the Father and the Holy Ghost 
to be the Only true God, and that they are not three gods, 
but the only fiving God. 



24 



Chapter V. 



This only, true God is the creator of the world, the God of Abraham etc. 

the Jehovah and the Lord, which has revealed Himself, as the Father, the 

Son and the Holy Ghost. 



68. After having answered the inquiry concerning God's 
nature, the third question presents itself- to us, namely, wJu) 
is this only living God? There have been carried on, concer- 
ning this question, at all times great and dangerous disputes, 
so that Jews and Heathen and Christians, have contended and 
persecuted each other for the sake of this inquiry, in as much 
as each of them pays his homage to another Being, which he 
regards as his, and as the true and only God. 

But that we might be able to discern, who is to be con- 
sidered as the true and only God, we shall be obliged Jo turn 
our attention to the diiFerent Revelations, by means of which 
it has pleased Him, to make Himself known. Of such reve- 
lations there are four: 

70. I. The first revelation took place, at the moment in 
which God created heaven and earth; as it is explained by St. 
Paul, Rom. 1, 19. 20: „Because that which may be known 
of God is manifest in them (the Gentiles); for God haih shew- 
ed it unto them; for the invisible things of him from the crea- 
tion of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the 
things that are made even his eternal power and godhead, 
so that they are without excuse." And this same Apostle, being 
about to exhort the Athenians on account of their idolatry, 
and to shew them which is the true God, directs their attention 
in the very outset, to the work of creation ; ,,whoni therefore ve 
ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you: God that made 
the world and all the things therein'''- etc, Act. 17, 23, 24. And 
the prophet Jeremiah looks upon the work of creation, as a 
direct proof, by means of which the true God might be dis- 
tinguished from other Gods ; for his message to th6 headiens 
runs thus: „the Gods that have not made the heavens and the 
earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under 
these heavens; He i^God) hath made the earth by his power he thai 
established the worldby hiswisdom,'.' Jerem. 10, 11. 12. And theLord 
Himself in that He created the world, has proved Himself to be the 
true God; „Thus saith God theLord, he that created the heavens 
and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that 
which Cometh out of it; he that giveih breath unta the people 



Chap» V. The persons of the Godhead. 25 

upon it, and spirit to them, that walk iherein," Isa. 42, 5; „thus 
saith the Lord thy redeemer , and he that formed thee from the 
womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that sbretchkh 
forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by my- 
self," Isa. 44, 24. This is therefore the ^st revelation, which 
teaches Him to be th6 only and true Grod, who hath creates 
heaven and earth. 

71. n. Now the heathen do also ascribe to their imagi- 
nary Gods the work of creation ; but the true God has, besi- 
des this, revealed himself to the children of Israel, as well as to 
the patriarchs Abraham, Jsaac and Jacob. — 

Thus be led Abraham out of Ur in Chaldea, and made 
a covenant with him. Genes, 12, 1. ff; 17, 2. ff. Thus he 

f)romised unto Isaac and Jacob that their seed should be so 
arge that it CQ»ld not be numbered, a seed which the M- 
mighty also promised to redeem from a heavy bondage. In 
the accomplishment of which promises God has revealed Him- 
self to be Almighty, True and Merciful. In the same way re- 
velations are to be met with, by means of which He hath 
made himself known to Isaac and Jacob, as the history of 
the Jews abundantly proves. 

71. The true God is therefore, as it were, properly de- 
signated when he is described as the God of Ahrcmxm and 
as the fear of Isaac, Genes.. 3l, 42; as the God of AbraJiam, 
of Isaac and of Jacob, Exod. 3, 16; 1. Kings 18, 36; Math. 
22, 32; as the God of the Fathers, Exod. 3, 13; Deutro. 1, 21. 
Wisd. 9, 1; 1. Chiton. 30, 18; as the God of the Hebrews, 
Exod. 5, 3; as the God of Israel, Jos. 7, 13 if ; as the God 
of all the families of IsraA, Jerem. 31, 1. 

73. III. The ^rd revelation consists in the fact of God's 
making known his real name, and this more especially unto 
Moses. For when this latter was about to be sent unto Pha- 
raoh, upon his inquiring who might be that God,' that thus 
commands him to go to the children of Israel, he receives the 
reply : „thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel , / AM 
hath sent me unto you," Exod. 3, 14. This was still more 
explained to him, as we read, v. 15. „thus shalt thou say unto 
the children of Israel: the' Lord God of your fathers, the God 
of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and Uie God of Jacob hath 
sent me unto you , this is my name fore ever, and this is my 
memorial unto all generations ;" Exod. 6, 2. 3 : „I am the Lord 
(Jehovah); and I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob 
by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH 
was I not known to them;" Isa. 42, 8: „I am the Lord, {hai 
is my name and my glory will I not give to another." 

74. This latter revelation also informs us of the true. 



26 Chap. V. The persons of the Godhead. 

appropriate and essential aame, wherewith God fesires to e 
Ad!^ For even so as the heathens used to ^i»W«L\ha- 
dffibrent Gods, by diflferent names, calhng them Baal, Asm ^ 
roth, MoJoch, Jupiter, Neptunus €tc. -«? ^^f-'^'L proper 
sire «f &e only God to be distii^mshed by his own proper 
^aL <JehovZ LordJ from A which is po ^^^^ ^ 

75. It is, therefore „ Jehovah" (or as it is t^a^slatea in 
the Bible, Lord), the appropriate and essential name ,oi me 
Onlv God, as has been shewn by reference to the <™®^^^^ 
SsLges Nor is this name, in bofy scripture, appl^d to any 
of the imaginary divinitks, or to any other creature. -- 

76. IVTThe fiywrth revelation took place, ^n. *^t ^ 
(this Jehovah) m4es Himself known as a P^^f£ «^^^; 
sons, thereby teaching, that Jehovah is, ^^^ «iat He is 
called, the F^her, who has created a &n from eternity, the 
Son, who has been created from the Father m aJl etenuty, 
from Sh of which (Father and Son) the Holy (?o.< proceedB. 

77. For the purpose therefore of disposmg ot tne que- 
stion, viz: who rmy he thai true Godf the surest way wiU be 
to put together these four diiFer«nt revelations and to say: 
the only true Ood is the Oreator of heaven and eaith, the (jrod 
of Abraham (f Isaac and of Jacob, the Jehovah or Lord, which 
is the Father of the Lord Jems Christ; Christ Jesus the bm oj 
the Father, and the Holy Qhost, which proceeds from the leather 
and the Son, . 

78. Concerning the three first mentioned revelations all 
those who bear Sie christian name are agreed. But the 
doctrine regarding the three distinct persons in the one divine 
Being, or (in the language of the primitive Church) of the 
Trinity, has, been, from the very beginning of the christian 
Church, attacked by man different heretics; as for instajice 
by the Ebionites, by Cerinthus, by Macedonius, Sabellius, 
Paul of Samosate, especially by Anus. This latter revived 
again the doctrine, which was maintained by the Photinians 
so called ofter the old heretic Photinus. 

79. In stating his .conviction it ought to be left to the 
option of every cniistian, either to employ the mode of ex- 
pression whicn had been made use of in this controversy 
with these heretics (namely: in the one divine Being there 
are three persons, or the only God consists of three per- 
sons) ; or simply to express his belief thus : the only, true God 
is the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

80. But in order that the phraseology, which the Church 
makes use of against the heretics, be more clearly under- 
stood, it will be requisite to put it down as a sure and im- 
pregnable principle : that under , no circumstances whatsoever 



Cha^. V. The persons pf the Godhead. 27 

wore tlmn One God is to be admowhdged or spoken of. For 
if we shaJI subsequently succeed in peering that|the three 
different persons conatitute the same one God , it must bie 
evident that there are, in this one God, three distinct persons. 

81. Altough this might be a proper place for giving a 
clear definition of the term Person; yet, as this definitMm 
would have to be drawn from Philosophy, the elucidation of 
which would be of little profit to the humble inquirer, the 
following willj we hope, suffice. 

82. a. For a person it is necessary, to have a subMance 
and a natm-e. Accordingly the human reason cannot be said 
to be a person, because it has no substanee; but man is a 
person because of his having his own nature. Just upon the 
same principle, God the Father is said to be a person, for 
he is a substance; whilst the power, eternity as well as 
other attributes of God cannot be cafled persons, beoaaise ©f 
their not having a substance or a nature. 

83. b. Whedever is to be called a person, ongM to hmie 
a pcrfeet substance and natrnfe of his own, and not only a part 
Of the same. Therefore neither the human body, nor his Bool, 
on being separated, can be called a person, because of the 
body being only part of the human being. But man, as he 
is constituted of body and soul, is a person, for he is an en- 
tire being, not making a part of. any thing else. 

64. c. Whatever is to be oailed a person, must be 'alive; 
therefore an Angel is called a person , in consequence of his 
being alive ; but a stone cannot be called a person , because 
their is no life in it. 

85. d. Whateoer is to be called a person, ought to be en- 
dued with reason. Thence a man or an Ang^ are each a 
person, because of their being furnished with reasosajng po- 
wers ; whilst on the other hand a lion , ox or horse etc., 
cannot be said to be persons, because they are destitute of 
reason. 

86. e. Whatever oonsAttes a person, cannot be common to 
d-^erent individuals. Accordingly the human nature of man, 
being equally met with in every individual cannot be called 
a person, for. reason of its being common to many. But 
Peter is a person because no other individual can be this 
self same Peter. 

87. It is in this- way, that the Church speaks of the di- 
vine nature, which aithou^ having an entire substance and 
nature of its own, and afthough it is alive', and endued ^h 
reason, is yet no person, because of its bemg in common to 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. But the Father 
as wen as the Son, as also the Holy Ghost are persons, be- 



28 Chap. V. The persons of the Godhead. 

cause of their being alive , and endued with reason , and be- 
cause of their substance not being common to any other. 
For there is no other being which is called the Father, or the 
Son or the Holy Ghost. 

88. But as this way. of speaking (of the holy Trinity, or. 
the three persons in God) is not to be found in scripture, [that 
is, not in express words, though in the whole tenure of the 
same], but has only been adopted by the Church of old , for 
th? purpose of repelling the heresies of Arius and others, 
no body is boimd to make use of the same. It is by no 
means necessary for any Christian to adopt them, and to 
trouble himself as to how he was to understand the term 
„person" ; or how the one divine Being could possibly be be- 
lieved to consist of three different persons. For the humble 
minded inquirer it will suMce to know and to believe, that 
the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are the only, true 
and living God; but regarding the possibility of this we ought 
not to ' trouble ourselves , , seing that in this life we know 
only part, and are only able to comprehend the things of God 
as through a glass , darkly (1 Cor. 13 , 9. 12.). We may 
therefore humbly await the issue, till we pass into life 
eternal, where we shall see the Lord as He is, and „kiiow 
Him, even as we are kilown of Him," (1 Cor. 13, 12; 
1 Joh. 3, 2.) 

89. But that the Christian might be able to give an ac- 
count to God and men concerning his faith, in as far as it is 
founded upon scripture, three different points are to be proved : 

I. that there is in God more than one person; 
H. that there are three persons in God, and ^ 

ni. the distinction which is to he observed between the three 
persons of the Godhead. 

90. I. That in God there are more than one person, the 
holy scriptures prove in three different ways: 

a. God ^eaks to Himself, as one spake to another; thus 
Genes. 1 , 26 : „Let us make man in our image , afler our 
likeness;" ibid. 3, 22: „Behold the man is become like one of 
us; ibid. 11, 7: „go to, let us go down, and there confound 
their language." 

91. D. God is speaking of Himself, as one speaks of ano- 
ther, Isa. 48, 16: „I have not spoken in secret firom the be- 
ginning; from the time that it was iliere am I; and now the 
Lord • God' and his spirit hath sent me;" Jerem. 23, 5. 6: 
„Behold the days come, saiih the Lord, that I will raise unto 
David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign, and prosper, 
and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In this 
days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and 



Chap. V. The persons of the Godhead. 29 

this is his name whereby he shall be called: „THE LORD 
OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS;" Hosea 1, 7: „But I wiU have 
mercy upon, the house of Judah and will save them by the 
Lord their God;'' Zach. 2, 10. 11 : „For lo, I come, and I 
will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the 
Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And many nations 
shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my 

Eeople; and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shaft 
now, that the Lord of hosts, he hath sent me unto thee;" 
Zach. 3, 2: „And the Lord said unto Satan: ihe^Lord rebuke 
thee O Satan; even the Lord .... rebuke thee.' 

92. The holy scriptwres speak of God as a plurality. 
Genes. 19, 24: „then the Xom rained upon Sodom and upon 
Gomorrah brimstone and fire ixoxa the Lord out of heaven." 
For .which also toany other instances might be adduced. 

93. As therefore Jehovah, the only God, in all the in- 
stances referred to, is speaking to Himself as to a plurality 
(for nothing' can be imagined to be more important to Him, 
than to avoid giving to men the least occassion for imagining 
that there is more than one God); and since He speaks to 
Himself in such a way : „let us make men," „Adam is become 
as one of ms," „let us confound the languages," — all which 
can not possibly be addressed to an Angel or any other 
creature, but to God alone; — it must be certain that there 
are more persons in the Godhead, which are referred to in 
making use of the Plural forms, us, our, etc. 

94. In the same manner JehoVah, the only God says of 
Himself, that He hath been sent by the Lord; that Jehovah 
would raise up a seed unto David, which should also be Je- 
hovah; that Jehovah would help Judah again, in this same 
Jehovah; and in the same way Jehovah says to Satan, Je- 
hovah rebuke thee Satan. In all this, two distinct persons 
must needs be understood to be spoken of, each of which is 
yet called Jehovah ; (for there is one, which sends, and another 
which has been sent; one who raises a seed unto David, and 
that seed which has been raised; one Jehovah, which says 
unto Satan : the Lord rebuke thee, and another the Lord which 
is to rebuke). But on all occasions both these two persons 
are Jehovah the Lord, which is the true and real God, and 
always remains the only one Jehovah, and the only one God. 
Which demonstratesi that in this Jehovah and Lord there are 
more than one person, which are thus designated (Lord Jeho- 
vah and God), and that several persons are intended by these 
terms. 

95. n. Again we are to learn, thai in the divine Being 
there are three distinct pm'sons, namely: the Father, the Son, 



30 Chap. V. The persons of the Godhead. 

and the Holy Ghost. This can especially be proved from that 
principal reason, that three distinct persons, fiamefy the Father, 
the Son and the Holy Ghost, have each of them revealed 
themselves to be the only true God. From which circumstance 
we are to infer: that although scripture pronounces it to be the 
principal' reason and the foundation of all saving knowledge, 
that, there he but one true God, and yeb evidently teaches tAai 
there are three distinct persons, each of whom is the only true 
God, it must obviously be acknowledged, that in the divine 
Being there are three distinct persons. 

96. Whatever has been advanced in the last chapter con- 
cerning the unity of God, ha§ never been doubted. Nor has 
all that, which scripture testifies concerning the Father, that 
is, that He is the only and real God, ever been questioned. 
But it is necessary to prove, that there are three such persons 
in the Godhead, as well as that the Son and the Holy Ghost 
are such persons. 

97. In the first place , St. John testifies, as well of the 
Son, as also of the Holy Ghost, that they are One wdth the 
Father, in the following very decided expressions , 1. Ep. 5, 
7: „there are three that hear record in heaven, the Father, the 
Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three aire One." It can 

therefor! not be denied, that the Holy Ghost is not to be looked 
upon as a mere creature, apart from God. Concerning the 
Son, we are in possession of This own testimoiQ', tTohn. 14, 9. 
10. 11: ,,ne that hath seen me, hath seen the Father; and how 
say est thou, then, shew me the Father? Believest thou not, thai 
I am in the Father, and the Father in me P' 

98. From which we draw the following conclusion: that 
such persons, who are equal with the Father in such a way 
that whosoever seeth them seeth the Father, the same are of 
one substance with the Father; and therefore with Him the 
only true God. The Son and Holy Ghost are one with the 
father, and therefore in Him, so that, whosoever „seeth the 
Son, seeth the Father" also; (which can equally be said, of 
the Holy Ghost, which is even acknowledged by our adversa- 
ries to be God). The Son therefore and the Holy Ghost are 
of one substance with the Father, and consequently together 
with Him the only true God. 

99. That the Son is the same only God as the Father, can 
be proved as follows. He to whom we find ascribed: 

the name of God 

the divine character and attributes, 

God's work, and 

the honour that is due to Him alone, 



Chap. V. The divinity of Christ. M 

the same is the supreme, the true, the everlasting God. Such 
proofs must suffice us for this reason, because we are only 
able, to convince ourselves of the fact that the Father is God, 
from the divine name, attributes and^ honours being ascribed 
to Him. If then, very justly, it can be concluded from the 
latter circumstance that the Father is God, the same should 
also satisfactorily convince us of the divinity of the Son. Now 
to the Son, there are ascribed the divine names, character, works 
and honours, consequently the Son is the supreme, the true 
eternal God. These four points remain now to be proved. 

100. I. The second person in the Godhead, is the true and 
everlasting God, because to the Son ave applied the divine na- 
mes, which alone belong unto Gbd. There are three such 
names to be found in scnpture. 

101. The first of these names is „God," this is the pro- 
per name that is due to the only true God; for although it has 
been applied by way. of ridicule to heathen idols , as for in- 
stance Exodi 12, 12 :' „Against all the Gods of Egypt I wiU 
execute judgment ;" and although it has be applied to worldly 
authorities and judges (Ps. 82, 6.) ; yet it remains properly 
due but unto God; Deutr. 32. 39: „See now, that I, even I, 
am he, and there is no God with me;" Hos. 18. 4: „Thou 
shalt know no God but me." 

102. In the same sense the name of God is attributed to 
the Son, John. 1, 1 : „the word was God" (namely that word, 
which had become flesh) ; Bom. 9, 5 : „Chri8t came, who iu over 
all God blessed for ever;" 1. Timot. 3, 16: „And without con- 
troversy great is the mystery of Godliness : God was manifest 
in the flesh;" Act. 20, 28: „The church of God, which be hath 
purchased with his own blood," which blood however is not 
of the Father, but of the Son; of. Ephes 1, 7; 1. Pet. 1, 19. 
1. Joh. 1, 7. 

103. Another of God's names is „Lord;" And although it 
is also given to man, as Gen. 3, 16; 24, 35; Act. 35, 26; 
Col. 3, 22 ; yet it properly belongs but to God ; Acts. 16, 14 
„Liydia .... whose heart the Lord opened; 2< Thes. 3, 5. 
„the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God ;" Ephes. 4, 
5" „One Lord, one faith, one baptism." He to whom, this 
term „Lord" in its supreme and most appropriate sense is due, 
the same bears God's own name. 

104. This term Lord is ^ applied to the Son in its highest, 
and most appropriate signification, Luk. 2, 11 : ,;,for unto you 
is born this day in the city of David a Savioiir, which is 
„Christ the Lord;" Maleach. 3, 1: ,,the Lord whom ye seek 
shall suddenly come." And that the term Lord is applied in 
the highest sense, according to which the supreme God is cal- 



32 Chap. V. The divinity of Christ. 

led Lord, can be proved from the Adjectivies with which it is 
found conected. For he is called: „ihe One Lord Jesus Christ," 
1. Cor. 8, 6; „ihe Lord from heaven," Mi. 15, 47; „the Lord 
of glory," Cor. 2, 8 ; „the Lord of Lords," Rev. 17, 14; 19, 
16; all of which are God's own attributes, and not applicable 
to any creature. _ 

105. The third of those names is that of Jehovah. In 
, which way. God applies the same unto Himself has been shewn 
§. 73. He therefore to whom this name is given, to him Gods 
own name is applied. 

Thi8|name Jehovah is ascribed to Christ in many passa- 
ges of holy writ, especially on occasions, when the Old 
and New testament are brought to bear_ upon_ each other, 
of which only two instances shall be mentioned in this place. 
The prophet Isaiah saw the Glory of the Lord, and spoke to 
Him, concerning the wickedness of the Jews. That Christ, 
or the Son, is that same Lord and Jehovah is testified ex- 
pressly by John. 12, 41: „these things said Esaias, when he 
saw his glory, dnd spake of him,." Isa. 15, 3 that prophet is 
promised, that was to prepare the way of Jehovah, (the Lord) 
„the voice of him, that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the 
way of the Lord;" and that the Lord and Jehovah, for whom the 
way was to be prepared, was the Son is known from the evangeli- 
cal records. John was this prophet and preacher, Mat. 3, 2. 3 ; 
Job. 1, 23 ; he directed the people to go to Jesus, saying. Math. 
3, 11 : „I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance ; but 
he that cometh after me he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost 
and with fire;" John. 1, 29: „Behold the Lamb of God, which 
taketh away the sins of the world;" ibid. 3, 29. 30: „My joy 
therefore is fulfilled ; he must increase but I must decrease." 
And thus has John prepared the way for no other but for 
Christ; who is therefore that Jehovah and Lord, for whom 
this preacher was to prepare the way. 

106. n. The second person must be God, because to to 
the Son are ascribed the divine attributes and characters. Now 
the Being to whom divine attributes are ascribed, attributes 
belonging to God alone, must be the one supreme and true 
God; and as to the Son there are ascribed divine properties, 
which belong only to God; the Son must be the same only 
supreme, true and everlasting God. 

107. This can be proved by the following argument. He 
who is Omniscient, and Omnipresent, is entitled to a divine 
character. Now the Son is Everlasting, Almighty, and Om- 
niscient, and he is therefore in possession of divine attributes ; 
for the Son is: 

108. A. Everlasting. He was before John „He it is, who 



Chap. V. The divinity of Christ. 33 

•« 
coming aftet me, ismdetred before me," John. 1, 27; he was also 
before Abraham, John. 8, 58 : „VerUy, verily, I say unto you . 
Before Abraham was, I am,." He was before every other 
creature, John. 1, 1 : „In the heginnirig was the word." v. 3 : 
„All things were made by him" (the word). He was before 
the beginning of the world, John. 17, 5: „0 Father glorify 
thou me, with thine own self with the glory, which I had with 
thee b^ore the world was'," Coloss. 1, 17: „He is before all 
things." He stands therefore out of, and beyond all time, and 
is consequently Everlasting. The Son of God is also : 

109. B. Almighty. Almighty power has been given to 
him even in the! days of his ^sh, Matth. 28, 18 : „All power 
is given unto me in heaven and upon earth;" John. 3, 35: „the 
Father loveth thaSon, and hath given all things into his hands." 
Besides this, his almighty power has come to light by the 
works he performed, m the creation of the world, and in 
many other respects, Whosoever accomplishes almighty works, 
must certainly be possessed with almighty powers. The Son 
of God is: 

110. C- Omniscient; Joh. 21, 17. Peter says to him „Lord 
thou hnowest all things;" he knows what. is in man, Joh. 2, 
25: „He needed not, that any should testify of man, for he 
krww what is in manf" he is able to discern the thoughts of 
man, Matth. 9, 4; he shall judge the secrets of men, Kom. 2, 
16; he will bring to light the hidden things of God, , 1. Cor. 
4, 5. He searcheth the reins and Ihe heart and he wiU give to 
every one according to his works, Eev. 2, 23 ; Future things 
are known to him, ere they have yet come to pass; thus he 
predicted to his disciples all the persecutions which they 
should have to suffer; Matth. 10, 17. 18; John. 16, 2. He poin- 
ted out before hand him who was to betray him, before even 
the heart of the betrayer had itself conceived the idea, to do 
so, John. 13, 11; and he predicted the flight of his disciples, 
as well as the denial of Peter, Matth. 26, 31. 34. 

[I>. Christ is also Omnipresent; he says, Matth. 18, 20 : 
„Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there 
am I in the midst of them;" and Chapt. 28, 20: „Lo, I am 
with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Of which, he 
has given abundant proofs to his disciples, after his resurrec- 
tion. In order that tney might . have faith in his promises, at 
times when he shall have ceased to. be visibly present with 
them.] 

111. HI. That the second person is God, is slso evident 
from the fact, that to the Son there is ascribed the power of 
performing divine works. Which leads us to conclude, that to 
whom the power of performing divine works is attributed _ 

3 



34 Chap. V. The divinity of Christ. 

the committal of which is alone in the power God, such a one 
is the supreme only, and true God. Now we have seen, tuat 
to the Son there is <mcrihed the power of ■perfmmmg avmrn 
works, and therefore he must necessarily be the only, suweme, 
true and real God. Of such works, we find two difterent 
kinds taken notice of, viz : 

aa) general works, and 

bb) special works. 
aa. Of the first kind we intend to mention four difterent 

instances : , ^7. u- u 

112. a. The work of creation of heaven and eartti, vrnwa 
God ascribes to Himself in such a manner, that nobody besides 
Him, can have partaken in the same. Nevertheless we fand 
this ereiition ascribed to Christ, John. 1, 3: „A11 things were 
made by him (the word, the Son), and withhout him was rwt 
anything made, that, was made.'-'- Also Coloss. 1, 16: tor by 
him were all things created that ^re in heaven, and that are 
in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or donu- 

.nions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by 
him and for him.'-^ 

113. ^. The preservation and governing of the whole crea- 
tion; which attribute can be due to none but unto God, be- 
cause He alone is able to govern the world, who has created 
it ; as it is clearly expressed by the Apostle, Acts. 17, 28 : 
„Jn him we live, we move, and have our being f the presem- 
tion and governing of world is directly ascribed to Christ, 
Coloss> 1, 17: By him all things exist;'-'- also John. 5, 17: 
„My father worketh hitherto, and I work; and Heb. 1,3: Up- 
holding all things, by the word of his mouth." 

114. ;'. The working of miracles-, the Lord Jehovah shews 
Himself to be the true God, m that He performs miracles, 
Exod. 7, 17: „Thus saith the Lord, by this thou sbalt know, 
that I am the Lord ; behold I AviU smite with the rod, that is 
in mine hand upon the waters pihich aire in the riv^ and they 
shall be twrned into blood;"- ibid: Chap. 8, 10: „the frogs shall 
depart from thee, that thou mayest know, that there is none 
like unto the Lord our God.'-'- And the Son has performed 
miracles in order to prove, that he is in the Father, and the 
Father in him, John. 14, 11: „Believe me that I am m the 
Father, and the Father in me ; or alsa believe me for the 



wo _ _ 

115. But these miracles have not been wrought by Christ 
in such a way, as for instance Moses and the Apostlfes etc. 
performed them, namely merely as being authoriged fop this 
purpose by any other power, of which they were but the chan- 
nel. Christ the Son of God has performed them out of his 



Chap. V. The divinity oi' God. 35 

own power. This is evident, partly because he has been able 
to give to others the power to work them; Matth. 10, 8: „go. . . 
heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out de- 
vils ;" Luk. 9, 1 : „he gave them (the twelve) power over all 
devils and to cure diseases" : which power neither the prophets 
nor the Apostles were able to bestow; — partly also from the 
fact that -he in whose name miracles are performed, must be the 
chief cause of the same, and cause them to come about by his 
own power. Thus Moses performed his miracles in the name 
of the Lord, in order to prove the Lord to be the principal 
and only cause of the same. But on the other hand the Son 
of God never performed a miracle but in his own name ; Luk. 
7, 14: „Young man, 1, say unto thee, arise;" Mark. 5, 41: 
„Dam8el I say unto thee, arise." The Apostles again wrought 
miracles solely in the name of Christ-^ Acts 3, 6: „In the name 
of Jesus of Ivazareth, rise up and walk;" ibid. 4, 10: „by th6 
name of Jesus of Nazareth .... doth this man stand here 
before you whole j'' ibid. 9, 34: „Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh 
thee whole"' etc. „For the Lord (was) working with them, and 
confirming the word with signs following," Mark. 16, 20. 

116. 8. The work of the covenant, which God has made 
with men, by means of baptism. Baptism is called „the ans- 
wer (covenant) of a good conscience towards God, 1. Pet. 3, 
21. Now this covenant is always made with the Son of God, 
as' can be shewn from his own words, Matth. 28, 19 : „bap- 
tize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ohost."' Man therefore, in receiving baptism is ad- 
mitted mto the covenant of mercy, not only' hf the Father, 
but also by the Son, as well in his own name, as in that of 
the Father. Consequently the Son is, like the Father the true 
and living God. 

117. . bb. As to the special works , which q,re ascribed to 
the Son of God, not a few instances are to be met with, which, 
though in the Old testament they are ascribed to the God of 
Isra^, are yet, in the New testament attributed, by the Apos- 
tles and Evangelists to the Son of God. Thus it is exulted in, 
as the work of God' „thou (Lord) hast ascended on high, thou 
hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts of men."' His 
ascension, along with all its consequences is spoken of as being 
accomplished by Jehovah. But this Jehovah is the Lord 
Jesus, to whom Paul expressly applies this passage, Ephes. 
4, 8: y,Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high he led 
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascen- 
ded, what is it but that he alsQ descended first into the lower 
parts of the earth'?"' etc. 

In the same Psalm, he who is said to have ascended up 

3* 



36 Chap. V. The divinity of Christ. 

on high, is also spoken of as having delivered his people out 
of Egypt, and as having given them in a glorious manner 
his law, V. 7, 8 : „Grod^ when thou wentest forth before thy 
people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; the 
eartli shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God." 
Now these are two great, divine works, which can be ascribed 
to none but the Lord. But as the Son is that same Lord, 
which has ascended up on high etc.; it follows that he must 
also be the same, who brought the children of Israel out 
of Egypt, and who has given them the law; and that, having 
performed divine works, he must necessarily be the true God. 

118. IV. That the second person in the Godhead is the 
true God, is also finally evident, because that to the Son divine 
honours are paid. Isa. 42, 8.: „my glory will I not give to 
another.'-'- All Christians, moreover, are bound to offer unto 
him divine worship, John. 5, 22. 23: „for the Father judgeth 
no man but he hath committed all judgment unto the Son, 
that all men should honour him even as they honour the Father."- 
Now to the Father there is divine worship offered, which has 
been stated to be also due to the -Son. The honour which 
belongs unto God is twofold, viz : 

119. a. Worship; Deutr. 10, 20; Matth. 4, 10: „thou shalt 
worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." 
Of the Son, we read, Heb. 1, 6: „when he bringeth in the 
first begotten into the world he saith. And let au the angels 
of God worship him.'-'- It is said of him, that he is to be 
worshipped on the great day of judgment, „Every knee shall 
bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God,'-^ Rom. 14, 
11. This latter act is one of adoration to which no other is 
entitled but God, Isa. 45, 23. 

120. b. Faith and the highest confidence, which the hu- 
man heart can put in his God, and which God alone deser- 
ves, „cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh 
flesh his arm". Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, 
and whose hope the Lord «s," Jerem. 17, 7. 9. 

Such a confidence and such a faith is to be, put in the 
Son of God, as he himself says „ye believe in God, believe 
also In me," Joh. 14, 1. Accordingly the real saving faith is 
called: faith in Jesus, Rom. 3, 26. 

Thus we have, by means of the preceding inferences 
established, and by the adduced passages proved the. fact, 
that the Son is, like the Father, the only true and living God. 

121. It now but remains for us to show, that the Holy 
Ghost is the only, true and living God. But in this inquiry we 
take it for granted, that the Holy Ghost is part of the divine 
Being. And if we therefore succeed in proving, that the Holy 



Chap. V. The Holy Ghost. 37 

Ghost is not merely a property, power, or energy of God, — 
but a person, then we estabfish thereby also the fact that 
the Holy Ghost is a divine person, and therefore very God. 

For the better establishing of this ' part of the christian 
doctrine, we- proceed to prove the two following points: 

A. that the Holy Ghost is a person, and 

B. that the Holy Ghost is the true, real God. 

122. A- The fiirst proposition, ihaii\\& Holi^Ghost is a per- 
son, can be proved from tne following arguments: whosoever, 
we say, is entitled, and gets ascribed to him a) personal na- 
mes, 0) personal works, c) personal revelations and appearances, d) 
personal accidents and occurrences , that same must indeed he a 
person. For these are the characteristics, by means of which 
alone we are able to perceive that man or angel, or God the 
Father are persons. Wherever, then, these characteristics are 
to be met with, there we must conclude having met a person. 

123. To the Holy Ghost are due, and there are ascribed 
to him: 

a. personal names. The term „God" it applietf to him, which 
is the name of a person (of §. 130) ; as also that of ,,another 
Comforter"" which are also significations of persons etc. 

124. b. Personal works, more especially: 

1. The creation, Job 33, 4: ^the spirit of the Lord hath 
mxtde mci and- the breath of the Almighty hath given me 
life."' Pshn. 33 , 6 : „^ the word of the Lord were the hea- 
vens made; and all the host of them hy the breath of his 
movih.'-'- 

2. The governing of the Church; Acts. 20, 28: ,,2'Ae Holy 
Ghost hath made you overseers,"" etc. 1. Cos 12, 11 : „AU 
these (gifts , heaungs , miracles) worketh that one and 
selfsame spirit, dividmg to every man severally as he will." 

3. The mission and the anointing of the Messiah; Isa. 61, 1; 
'Luk. 4, 18 : „the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because 
he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor." 

4. The bestowal of wiritual gifts, 1. Cor. 12, 11: „dividing to 
every man severally as he will." 

5. The deliveming of Israel from Egypt. Isa. 63, 11. 12 : 
„Where is he that put his Holy Spirit, within him, that 
led them by tke right hand of Moses?" 

6. The lenowtedge of divine counsels, 1. Cor. 2, 10: ,/or the 
spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God." 

7. Ihe divine teaching; Luk. 12, 12: for the Holy Ghost shall 
teach you in the sarne hour, what ye ought to say." Joh. 14, 26. 

8. Prayer and intercession; Rom. 8, 26 : ,fhe spirit also hel- 
peth our infirmities : for we know not what we should pray 



38 Chap. V. The Holy Ghost. 

for as we ought : but the spirit itself mdketh intercession for 
us with groanings, which cannot he vMered."- 
9. 'ihe Holy Ghost is introduced as speaMng; Acts. 1, lo: 
„the Holy Ghost spake before by the mouth of David," 
Luk. 2i 26 : „lt was revealed unto him [Simeon) by. the 
Holy Ghost f John. 16, 13: „Whatever he (the Holy 
Ghost) shall hear that shall he speak.'-'- _ .; 

It is not to be denied thai in some parts of scripture such 
works are sp^en of as having been performed by divine vds- 
dom and Omnipotence. Nevertheless we consider this point, 
just as it is , strong enough for our purpose, if put together 
with the rest of our proofs. 

1^5. There are also applied to the 'Holy Ghost: 

c. Personal revelations and appearances. Of this there are 
especially two instances recorded; theirs* tookplade on the 
occassion , of the baptism of Christ, and is described by Luk. 
3, 21. 22: „It came to pass that Jesus also being baptized and 
praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy GhoH. : descended 
in bodily shape like a dove upon him.'-'- This appearance St. John 
described as being a visible one, (1, 32.) „7 saw the spirit 
descending from heaven like a done and it abode upon him.'^ 

The second revelation of the Holy Ghost took place on 
the day of Pentecost. That the Holy Ghost on that occa- 
sion appeared in a visible shape, may be gathered from the fact 
which IS recorded, yfhat it sat upon each of them.'^ „It is im- 
possible for all this to be said merely concerning a divine 
power or property, but it must most assuredly refer to a per- 
son, which as such, is alone able to render itself visible. 

126. To*. the Holy Ghost there are also ascribed: 

d. personal properties , namely reason and purpose. And 
that the Holy Ghost is in possesion of divine reason and pur- 
pose is evident from the works , which have been stated to 
have been ascribed to him, such as the creation, the gover- 
ning of the world, imparting of spiritual gifts etc. Tl. Cor. 
12, 2 : „severaUy as he will;" 1. Cor. 2, 10.] 

127. Finaly there have been ascribed to the Holy Ghost 

e. personal occurrences , as : 

a. The Bible sjieaks of a bla^hemy against the Holy Ghost, 
Matth. 12, 31 ; a sin of which it is said , that it never shall 
be forgiven. 

/?. The Holy Ghost dwells in the saints as in his temple, 
„know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit 
of God dwelleth in you'i" 1 Gor. 3, 16. 

Y- The Holy Ghost is tempted; Acts. 5, 9: „How is it, 
that ye have agreed together to tempt Hie Spirit of the LordP' 



Chap. V. The Holy Ghost. 39 

d. He i» resisted; Acts. 7,- 51 : „ye do always resist the 
Hohf Ohost." 

€. He is grieved; Eph. 4, 30: „6ria'e not the Holy Spirit 
of God." 

£. He is rebelled cmiinst and vexed; nthey rebelled and 
vexed his Holy Spirit," Isa. 63, 10. 

t]. He is ahng with the Father and the Son spoken of as 
aperson; Matth. 28, 19: baptize in the name of the Father" 
etc. ; 2. Cor. 13, 14 : „the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" 
etc. 

All of which it is impossible to ascribe to a mere power 
or property; it could only be applied to a person. 

12&. B. That the. Holy Ghost is truly God can be pro- 
ved as follows : whosoever is possessed of 
1^ dimne natwre, 
z) divine names, 

3) divine powers, and 

4) divine honour, 

the same is the true and only God. Such has never been 
doubted. Now of the Holy Ghost all this has been testified, 
and therefore the Holy Gnost is the very true God. 

129. 1. That the Holy Ghost is of a divine nature nobo- 
dy vnll attempt to deny. And 1. Cor. 2, 11, we find ascribed 
to the Holy Ghost a knowledge of the divine counsels, because 
of His being in God. 

130. 2. Divine names are ascribed to Him, as „God" and 
„Lord;" Acts. 5, 3. 4: „Why hath Satan filled thine heart to 
lie to the Holy Ghost? thou hast not lied unto men but unto 
God ;" 1. CoV. 12, 4. 5. 6 : „there are diversities of gifts, but 
the same spirit ; and there are differences of administration 
but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations 
but it is the same God which worketh all in all." 

131. 3. Divine properties are ascribed to Him, as: 

a. Eternity; ,^Christ, who through the eternal spirit offe- 
red himself," Heb. 9, 14. 

§. Omniscience; 1. Cor. 2, 10: „the Spirit (of God) sear- 
cheth all things, yea/ the hidden things of Godi"i 

y. Ommpresence, Pslm. 139, 7 : \¥Hther shall I go from 
thy spirit ? or whither shall I go from thy presence ?" 

132. 4. To the Holy Ghost are also ascribed divine works, 
part of which have been specified alteady. Among these are 
especially ■ to be ' noticed the work of creation, and the gover- 
ning of the Church. To these are to be added: prophecy, 
1. Tittfc 4, 1 : „the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter 
times some shall depart from the faith ;" 2. Pet. 2, 21 : „HbIy 
men spoke as they were mooed by the Holy Ghoist. Amongst 



40 Ohap. V. The Holy Ghoet. 

the number of the dmne. works of the Holy Spirit is also to 
be mentioned the Covenant of mercy, into which man is ad- 
mitted by the Holy Ghost by means of baptism, John 3, 5. 
6: i,Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he 
carmot enter into the kingdom of heaven; that which is bom 
of the Spirit, is Spirit;" Titus. 3, 5: God saves us ,^y the 
washing of regeneration, and. renewing of the Holy^host." 
But this can alone be done' by God; fox baptism is „an an- 
swer of a good conscience towards God," 1. Pet. 3, 21. 

133. 5. Divine honours are paid to the Hply Gbost; thus 
we believe in Him, for we confess „I believe in the Holy 
Ghost, Kom. 9, 1 : „I say the truth I lie not, my conscience 
bearing me witness in the Holy Ghos]t." This is an attribute 
due but unto God, in whose name alone we are permitted to 
give an oath; Deutr. 6, 13: „thou shalt fear the Lord thy 
God, and serve' him, and shalt swear by His name." 

134. ni. The third of the propositions which we made 
§. 89. remains now to be enlarged upon namely the distinction 

^ which, is to be made between the persons of the Godhead. For 
although the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, 
and kU three persons are of one substance, there is yet a dis- 
tinction between them, so that the Father cannot be said to 
be the Son, or the Son to be the Holy Ghost etc. 

135. As to the nature of this distinction, we are unable, 
with our present capacities, to comprehend them, seeing that 
we are now but able to imderstand the things of God as 
through a glass, darkly. It is nevertheless our duty in as far 
as it bas pleased God to reveal it unto us, to acquire as clear 
an understanding of it as is possible for us, that we might 
be , kept from confoutiding the differejit persons. As much 
narnely can safely be said on this head, that the Father is 
made of none , neither created nor begotten ; that the Son is 
of the Father, not made, nor created, but begotten; that the 
Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son ; neither made, nor 
created, nor begotten, but proceeding, as we are taught by the 
creed of St. Atnanasius. 

136. For the farther elucidation of this subject it will be 
necessary in the first instance, to view the relation between 
the Father who has begotten the Son, and the Son who has 
been begotten by the Father. 

a. The terms Father and Son point at a distinction be- 
tween those two persons of such nature, that in the same sense 
God can be called Father by no other creature. For the 
Word, or the second person of the Godhead is called „the 
only begotten of the Father." John. 1, 14. 

^. The 4ioly scriptures expressly speak of such a begetting 



Chap. V. The Holy Ghost. 41 

of the Son; Ps. 2, 7 ; „thou art my son, this day have I be- 

fotten thee ; Heb. 1, 5 : „for unto which pf the angels said 
e at any time, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten 
thee?" John. 1, 14: „We beheld his glory, the glory as of 
the only begotten of the Father." Chnst is also called God's 
own Son, Eom. 8, 32 : „He that spared -not His own Son." 

y. I^ the Creed*) of our Church this relation is referred 
to in the following word: „7 lelieve that Jems Christ is very 
God hegoUenfrom the Father in all eternity." 

137. As to the way and the extent in which the Son has 
been begotten by the Father, this need not necessarily create 
great concern in us. For we ought always to look upon this 
subject as a mystery, the complete perception of which is only 
possible to us in a future life. 

138. In ord^ to point out the distinction which exists 
between the Hoh Ghost, and the Father and the Son, it is 
said that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the 
Son. This relation we are authorised to make, partly by the 
words mi and Trvevfia, by which the Holy Ghost is named, 
and which, in the nebrew and greek languages signify the 
„bi^eath, spirit," which proceeds out of the mouth of men. 
It is therefore with these words, as with a figure expressed, 
that the Holy Ghost is the „breath of the iJmighty," Job 
33, 4. 

139. But as God is not of flesh and blood, and therefore 
cannot be spoken of as having a mouth, like a man, we make 
the following inferences : 

a. That between the Father and Son, of which the Holy 
Ghost proceeds, and th^ Holy Ghost himself, there exists a 
certain distinction. 

b. That the Holy Ghost as a person originates with the 
Father and the Son in another manner, than can be said re- 
specting the Son. For the Son is by being begotten ; whilst 
on the contrary the Holy Ghost originates with the breath of 
the Father and the Son. The manner in which this is effec- 
ted, we will be able to understand only then, when we shall be 
permitted to see the Lord face to face. 

140. The personal properties, which the Holy Ghost is 
said to possess, can also be proved from the word of God. 
Namely, that the Holy Ghost is proceeding: 



*) [Wherever the Creed is appealed to in the course of this treatise, the 
Apostical Creed is always intended as explained by Luther in his 
shorter Catechism; cf. Enchii-idion , der kleine Catechismus Dr. Martin 
Luthers, mit Vorwort von Wilhelm Loehe, Stnttgart, 1846. (the shorter 
Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther, with a Preface by the Rev, W. Loehe.)] 



42 Chap. VI. The creation of the world. 

a. from the Father, John. 15,26: „the Comforter, the spirit 
of truth, which proceedeth from the Fa^r;'-'- in consequence of 
which the Holy Ghost is called "the breath of the Ahnighty," 
Job 33, 4. 

b. From the Son, for : 

1. The Holy Ghost is called the Spirit or the breath of 
the Lord Jesus, Galat. 4, 6 : „God hath sent forth ^e Spirit 
of His Son into your hearts." ^ 

2. The Holy Ghost is called „the <breath of His lipe," Isa. 
11, 4 : „He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, 
and with the breath of his lips 'shall he slay |he wicked;" 2. 
Thess. 2, 8 : „then shall that Wicked (the Antichrist) be re- 
vealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the i^rit of his 
mouth." . * 

3. The Holy Ghost has been communicated by the Son to 
his disoriples in that he breathed on them; John. 20, 22: „He 
(Jesus) breathed on them and said" etc. ; which proves, that 
the Son also communicates the Holy Ghost by breathing on 
him, who is to be favoured with the lattrar. For he whose 
breath, whose mouth and lip the Holy Ghost is, of that same 
the Holy Ghost must proceed; just as every man issues, his 
own breath. But this again is one of the Mysteries of our 
christian faith, which we are bound to believe, and concerning 
which we are required to subject our reason to the obedience 
of faith. 



43 



Chapter VI. 

(jod has created heaven , earth, angels, and all visible creatures out of 

nothing. 



141. In the preceding inquiries we have endeavoured to 
delineate the nature of the God we are to think of, whenever, 
in the course of the following elucidation of the christian faith, 
mention is made of a God. We now proceed to consider His 
works, more especially those, which he has acoomphshed for 
the good of mankind. The first of these works is the creation, 
and we consider more especially: 

I. The creation of every creature in general, and 
n. the creation of man, especially. 
I. Concerning the creation of every creature, we shall 
havie to inquire: 

1. who is the Maker of all creation 

2. of what all thai exuts has been created, 

3. at what time this Creadon has taken place, and what sort 
of works there have been created. 

142. 1. Who is the maker of all creation ? We acknowledge 
in our Creed God to be the creator of heaven and earth. We 
derive such a conviction : 

a. from nabwre; tor in viewing the heaven the earth, and 
other magnificent works, we are impressed with the conviction, 
that there must be an Almighty Iiord, who has created all 
this, „for by the greatness and beauty of the creatures pro- 
portionably the maker of them is seen," Wisd. 13, 5 ; „great 
is the Lord that made it ; and at his commandment it (tihe Sun) 
runneth hastily," Eccles. 43, 5; „for the mvisible things of 
him (God) from the creation of the world ate clearly seen, 
being understood by the things, that are made, even his eter- 
nal power and Godhead, Rom. 1, 20. .We also derive this 
conviction : 

b. From the Bible, which ascribes the creation of all 
things to the Lord God, as His own divine work. „In the 
beginning God created the heaven and the earth," Genes. 1, 1. 
Besides this true living God, there is nothing to be found, 
either in heaven or upon earth, either visible or invisible, which 
has taken the least possible part in the work of creation. 
It is all the work of God only, and of no other Being ; „/ am 
the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the hea- 
vens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself." 



44 Chap. VI. The creation of the world. 

143. 2. Of what all that eadsts has been created.'' The bible 
teaches us, that, although man was formed of the dust of the 
ground, (Genes. 2, 7.); the ^mss out of the earth, (Genes. 1, 
11.); fishes from the water (v. 200 and birds and other ani- 
mals from the earth C^- 24. and Gen. 2, 19.); they have yet 
been created out , of nothing. „Through . faith we understand 
that the worlds were formed by the word of God,' so that the 
things, whichare seen, were not made of things which do ap- 
pear," Heb. 11, 3. ; (God) „caUeth those things which be not, 
as though they were," Rom. 4, 17. For previous to God's 
creating heaven and earth, there has not existed any thing, that 
is, any substance, out of which God could have subsequently 
created the things which be. 

144. 3. At what time this creation has taken place ? We 
must not imagine the world (as some heathen philosophers 
have done) to be from eternity, besides God we know of 
nothing that is eternal. And we can deduce from scripture 
the fact, that the world has been created 6000 years ago; and 
we have therefore not to imagine the world to be from eter- 
nity, but on the contrary, that it is coexistent with time. — 

145. 4. PP hat sort of works there have been created ? God 
Himself comprises the works of creation under the two terms, 
heaven and earth, whereby we should rest satisfied. But a 
few instances of His creation may be taken notice of more 
especially : 

146. «. 2he heavens. The papists have fabled a great deal 
about a peculiar heaven which they called coelum empyraeum, 
„the fiery heaven," and >vhich, they said, did exist above that 
heaven which is open to our gaze; it is in this heaven, they 
say, that the Angels as AveU as the redeemed souls, are dwel- 
ling and where they see God face to face. — But of such a 
heaven there is nothing said either by Moses or by the Apos- 
tles or Prophets; nor does oiu: own reason lead as to make 
such a conclusion. And as nothing has been revealed to us 
about this matter, it will, in this life at least, always remain 
incomprehensible to us. • This whole doctrine therefore is, to 
be looked upon as an invention of the human mind, which is 
always striving to exceed the limits, which have been pre- 
scribed to it by divme revelation [cf. §. 384.]. 

147. /3. The Angels, which also are to be reckoned as 
God'.s creatures. But they seem to be free from everything 
earthly ; and this is perhaps the reason why Moses did not 
make mention of them in his history of the creation. 

The Spiriture teaches us, with regard to these Angels: 

A. Their name. ° 

B. Thdr nature. 



Chap. VI. The creation of the world. 45 

C. Th&r. reasoning abiliiies. 

D. Their power, 

E. Their number. ^ 

F. Their different degrees, and 

G. Tliat their exists a distincUon between good and bad 
Angels, 

148. *A..' The term „Angel" is a signification of an office. 
It denotes in the greek Idiom, (from which it is derived) a 
Messenger, a Servant, because the Angels wait upon the ser-r 
vice of the Lord, Pslm. 103, 20 : „Ble8s the Lord ye angels, 
that excel in strength, that do his commandements, hearkening 
unto the voice of his word." v. 21 : Bless the Lord, all ye 
hosts, that do his pleasure. [The Son of God is also frequently 
called in Scripture „Angel" Isa. 63, 9; Numb. 20, 16], 

149. B- The9 naiwre. Those creatures, which are called 
Angels, are of a spiritual nature, and have therefore no- 
thing bodily. „Who maketh his angels spirits, Heb. 1, 7 ; 
[Hebr. 1, 14 : ,jAre they not aU ministering spirits."] „A spirit 
has not flesh and bones," Luk. 24, 39. They are the invisible 
part of the creation mentioned by Paul, Coloss. 1, 16. The 
fact that Angels have appeared in bodily shape (Genes. 18, 2 ; 
19, 1; Tob. 5, 6; Mrk. 16, 5.) involves by no means a con- 
tradiction, in asmuch os this was only K)r a time, in order 
that men might not be frightened by the transparent appear- 
ance of the Angels|, Luk. 2, 9. For they were freed again 
of this bodily shape as soon as their business with man md 
been accomplished, Judg. ISj 20. 

150. C. Their reasoning abilities, we are able to deduce 
from their works and occupations. (Judg. 6, 12; Luk. 1, 13. 
19. 28; 2, 10. 14; 22, 43; Mark. 16, 5 fF. etc.). Now, some 
imen have imagined that the Angels are able to discern the se- 
crets of the human heart. But we are certain that this is be- 
yond the reach of an Angels capacity. Fer what man knoweth 
the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him," 
1. Cor. 2, 11. Of God alone it is said, that to Him the se- 
crets of man are known ; Pslm. 139, 2 ; that he tries the hearts 
and the reins, Pslm. 7, 10; Jerem. 20, 12. Now if this was 
also in the power of Angels, how could the glory of this 
wonderful power belong to God alone,? 

151. I>. Their power is intended, when they are spoken 
of as ,<,excelling in strength", Ps. 103, 20; as being „greater 
in power and might", 2 Pet. 2,> 11; as „principalities and pow- 
ers". Col. 1, 16; Ephes. 3, lO. And ,they have moreover 
manifested the same by their defeating great armies, 2 Kings 
19, 35; 2 Sam. 24, 15. 16, in which occasions they eihibitet 
powers , far beyond the reach of those of any man. 



46 Chap. VI. The creation of the world. 

152. E. Their number. Concerning this point we have 
not any thing recorded with certainty. „l8 there any number 
of his armies", Job. 25, 3. But that there are a great 
number of Angels can be proved by the express words of 
the Son of God, Matth. 26, 53: „Thinkest thon that I cannot 
now pray my father, and he shall presently give me more 
than twelve legions of angels?" And of Daniel we know that 
he saw in a vision the angels which worshipped the Lord; 
and which he thus describes: ^thousand thousands minisbredL 
vmio him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood hefore him". 
Chap. 7, 10; and Eev., 5, 11: „And I saw and beheld and 
I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, amd 
the number of them was ten thousand times thousand." 

153. V- Their different degrees and divisions. The holy 
scriptures mention the following: „thrones", „domimons", 
„prmcipalitieB", powers". Col. I, 16; „archang6l", 1 These. 
4, 16. — The nature of this distinction we are not able to 
explain, because it has not pleased God to reveal unto us 
any thing about it. 

154. Gc- The difference which exists between good and bad 
Angels. God says of every thing which He had created that is 
„wa8 very good", Genes. 1, 31; and we must therefore con- 
clude, that all Angels, with reference to their character and 
properties, have been created good. That there exists, never- 
theless, this difference between good and bad Angels, this is 
to be attributed to the fact, that not all of them have remained 
in the state of holiness, in which they had originally been 
created. For which reason God has delivered up those among 
them that were disobedient to Him, to a righteous judgment 
and condemnation, and has cast them into eternal destruction, 
John. 8, 44: „He (the devil) is a murderer from the begin- 
ning and abode not in the truth"; 2 Petr. 2,4: „0od spared 
not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and deli- 
vered them into chains of darkness, to, be reserved unto jud- 
gment"; Jude 6: the angels which kept not their first estate, but 
left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains 
under darkness unto the judgment of the great day". 

155. These latter mentioned Angels we find also distin- 
guished by peculiar names; as for instance: „Devil", John. %, 
U; „the eternal Dragon", Eev. 12, 9; „ Abaddon", Eev. 9, 11; 
„the prmce of this world", John. 12, 31; „the God of this 
world", 2 Cor. 4, 4; „Satan«, Matth. 4, 10. 

156. They are so called because of their ■ being the most 
determined enemies of mankind; for they are most actively- 
engaged in the pursuit of depriving man of their soul's Sal- 
vation, striving to bring them to eternal destruction „through 



Chap. Vn. Man, the image of God. 47 

the envy of the devil came death into the world" (namely by 
means of Sin), Wisdom. 2, 24 ; „ Your adversary the devU, as 
a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour", 
1 Pet. 5, 8. — Mankind is therefore obliged to maintain a 
continual struggle with this their adversary, Ephes. 6, 12 S. 

157. The good Angels (to- which alone in fact the term 
,,Angel" is appJicable) are those, which have always remained 
in the state of^ holiness in which they have been created, and 
which have been retained in the same by God. 



-»«■ 



Chapter VII. 



God haa endowed man, more than the rest of His creatures, with good 
and Has created him after His own image. 



We have now to turn our attention to the second part of 
our investigation (§. 141.), and to consider: 

158. n. The creation of man more especially. In the 
whole range of creation,- that of man was the last work; for 
it was the purpose of God to prepare the world for an habi- 
tation for man. God has created two human beings, a male 
and a female. Genes. 5, 2. „Male and female created he them, 
and -blessed them, and called their name Adam". God has 
created man out of the dust of the earth, and breathed into 
his nostrils the breath of life. Genes. 2, 7. „The Lord God 
formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his 
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul". 

The female was created from one of the ribs of the male, 
Genes. 2, 22. 

159. Man has* not been created in a state of sin and misery, 
nor as being subject to death, as he now actually appears to 
us, — but after Gods image. This latter term comprises that 
state of man, as it was immediately after his creation. It 
will therefore be necessary for us to investigate more parti- 
cularily the nature of this divine image, 

160. The term „God's image", we find applied to Christ, 
2 Cor. 4, 4 ; he is called the „image of the mvisible God", 



48 Chap. Vn. Man, the image of God. 

Col. 1, 15; and „the express image of his person", Hebr.l, 3. 
In this sense the term is only applicable to the Lord Jesus 
Christ, because he is the everlasting Son of the Father. 

Otherwise also the husband is called the „image ot Iroa , 
1 Cor. 11, 7: „he (the husband) is the image and glory ot 
God, but the woman is the glory of the man;" that is, like 
as God governs the world, so also is the husband to rule the 
house. In this sense again, the term is applicable _ but to 
husbands; and in no way to females, children, unmarried per- 
sons or wdows etc. , 

But, lastly, the term (image of God) is employed to ex- 
press the state of innoomce, perfection, in which God \has 
originally created man, and -which is was His purpose that 
man should transmit to his "progeny. 

It is in this sense especially, that we are now to consider 
this term. • -i 

161. , The divine image denotes^ a state of perfection in which 
God delights, and in which human nature has been origirudy 
created. This perfection consists in 1) a right perception of God 
and 2) His creation, Z) complete righteousness, 4) true holiness, 

5) the liberty of the will, to do the good and to flee the evil, 

6) in immortality, and lythe domination over all the creatures. 
There are therefore seven different points to be considered as 
constituting the image of God. 

162. 1. The perception of God. God alone is able to have 
a right perception of Himself. Nobody knows the Son but 
only the Father; and nobody knows the Father but only the 
Son, and he whom the Son is pleased to reveal the father, 
Matth. 11, 27. — iCor. 2, 11: „the things of God knoweth 
no man but the spirit of God". As soon therefore as man is 
able to arrive at a clear perception concerning God, he be- 
comes like Him; and it is therefore such a perceptiojfi part 
of the divine image, as it is described by St. Pam, Col. 3, 
10: „Put on the new man, w^hich is renewed in knowledge 
after the image of him that created him." 

163. 2. The perception of the whole creation; this also is 
in the power only of God, to whom alone every thing is 
known, (§. 57.). As soon then as man can get at a clear 
perception of the creation, he will be also in this respect in 
the likeness of God. But that Adam was possessed of such 
a perfect knowledge can be proved from the following facts: 
Adam had a knowledge of all the beasts that were brought 
before him, and could name every one of them. Genes. 2, 19 ; 
he knew of Eva, as soon as he saw her, that she was to be 
for a companion to him, and that she had been taken from 
his flesh, Genes. 2, 23. But such a clear perception betrays 



Chap. Vn. Man, the , image of God. 49 

great wisdom and deep understanding by means of which se- 
cret things may be comprehended, which are Imown to God 
alone. Man has therefore received the likeness of God also in 
this respect. 

164 3. Complete righteousness; this is usually ascribed 
solely to God; Deutr. 32, 4: „Hi8 work is perfect, for all his 
ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just 
and right is he." — But in that man has been created in 
righteousness, that is, without sin and unrighteousness, he has 
been made in the likeness of God. He was God's image, be- 
cause there was no evil and wickedness about him, Ephes. 
4, 24, „Put on the new man, which after God is created in 
righteousness and true holiness.^' 

165. 4. True holiness ; God is holy, 1. Sam. 2, 2 : „There 
is none holy but tM Lord."' And as the first man has been 
created holy (Ephes. 4, 24: the first man is created in true 
holiness"), it follows that he mast have been the image of God. 

166. 5. \The free will to choose the good, and to flee the 
evil. God is free in His works, Pslm. 115, 3. Pslm. 135, 6. 
„ Whatsoever the Lord pleased that did he." — Now in that . 
man has been endued with free will, so as to be able to do 
and not do that which he pleases, he has been made in the 
image of God. God moreover has put before man the tree 
of the knowledge of good and evil, in order that he might 
shew his obedience, in not eating of the Iruit of the tree. For 
this purpose he gave him the commandement „0f the tree of 
the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat", Genes, 2,17. 
Thus man had the free choice to do the good and to abstain 
from the evil; which is thus described by Jesus Sirach 15, 
14, ff. : „IIe himself .... has left him in the hand of his 
counsel; if thou wilt, to keep the commandements, and to perform 
acceptable faithfulness. He hath set fire and water before thee : 
stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt. Before men is 
life and. death; and whether him liketh shall be given hifn." 

167. 6. Immortality. God alone is immortal, 1. Tim. 6, 
16. But He has also made man to be immortal in such a 
manner that, provided he remains in his perfect state, death 
should have no power over him. God has therefore made 
man in the likeness of Himself. The holy scriptures also 
testify clearly, that man has been created immortal, and has 
become subject to death only in consequence of sin, Wisd. 2, 
23. „God created man to be immortal, and made him to be 
an image of his own eternity;" Genes. 2, 17: „Of,the tree 
of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it ; for in 
the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." God 
referred, after the fall of man to this latter sentence, when he 

4 



50 Chap. VH. Man, the immage of God. 

says, Gen. 3, 19: „In the sweat of thy fac6 shalt thou eat 
bread, , till thou return unto the ground ; for out of it wast thou 
taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou retumJ^ Eom. 
5, 12. „By, one man sin entered into the world, and death by 
sin, and so death passed upon all man for that all have sinned." 

168. 7. Dominion over every . living creature. God governs 
in heaven and upon eath according to His pleasure, Pslm. 24, 
1 : „the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world 
and they that dwell therein;" Pslm. 33, 9: „for he spoke 
and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast." And as 
man has received power to rule over the living creature , he 
must be the image of Go^. That such powers have been 
committed to man, we read Genes. 1, 26. 27. 28: „Let us 
make man in our image, after our Hkeness : and let them have 
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the 
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every 
creeping thing, that creepeth upon the earth. And God bles- 
sed them and said unto them; be fruitful and multiply and 
replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over 
the fish of the sea" etc. - 

Now as we find that men had originally been endowed 
with a right perception concerning God and His creatures, 
perfect righteousness, true holiness, fi-ee will, and immortality, 
and as he had received power to rule over every other crea- 
ture, — we should be convinced of his having been created 
in the image of God. 



-^«;c« 



51 



Chapter VIII. 



iMan has not presevered in the state . of peffection in which he has been 

created, but has fallen into sin, and hasSn consequence of this, lost the 

image of God, as well as all the privileges connected therewith. 



169. Man has not remained in this state of perfection and 
glofy, but has lost the image of .God by his msobedience to 
the commandements and the will of God; by which he has 
brought upon him^lf and upon his progeny, destruction and 
misery for the life that now is, and for that to con^e. With 
regard to this, two points are to be considered : 

A. The fall cf man, and 

B. The unhappy consequences which this fall has produced 
for mankind. 

170. A.. The fall of man has taken place in the following 
manner: In the midst of paradise God had planted a tree, 
which He designated as „the tree of the knowledge of good and 
evil," of the fruit of which tree, He expressly forbade man 
pot to eat ; adding that if ever he should eat of it, he should 
surely die. Genes. 2, 17. With this God did nothing more, 
than ask that obedience to which He was entitled to, this being 
the only way in which man could manifest his gratitude for 
God's mercy towards him. 

171. But Satan envied the happy state which man was 
in posession of, and finally succeeded in misleading Eve 
through the agency of the serpent's canning, (2. Cor. 11, 3). 
And Eve not only forsake the commandement of God and 
eat of the forbidden fruit, but she also persuaded her husband 
to the skme act of disobedience. And by this means they 
have both br'oken God's covenant, turned away fi-om God, 
fallen from their righteous state, and delivered themselves up 
to the bondage of sin. 

172. B. The unhappy consequences of this fall are twor 
fold, viz: "f* 

I. Such as affect the soul, and 
n. Such as affect the body of man. 
I. As to those consequences of sin which effect the soul, 
there are again to be distinguished that by sin man has 

a. lost the good qualities with which he had been 
endowed, and 

b. acquired the evil of which he had been free. 

4* 



2 Chap. Vin. Man's disobedience and fall by sin. 

173. a. With reference to the good qualities which man 
18 lost, is to be mentioned 

a. 2 he image of God, more especially 
1. The right perception of God and His creatures. And ac- 
)r^ingly it was impossible for this quality to be handed 
3wn to man's progeny, which latter are, therefore, given to 
indness and ignorance; Eph. 4, 17. IS: „(the heathen) having 
eir understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of 
od through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blind- 
•ss of their heart." St. Paul especially refers to this loss: 

Cor. 2, 14.: „the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
oirit of God, for they are foolisheness unto him,: neither can 

know them;" 2. Col. 3, 5: ,,Not that we' are sujfficient for 
.rselves to think anything of ourselves."" Now, we are told 
at Adam has reared children after his own likeness, Genes. 

3; and as the children are subject to this natural blindness, 

follows that the father also must have been subjected to 
at same evO, and that he has delivered it unto them. And 
garding the absence of every right perception of every crea- 
re, experience teaches everybody sufficiently ; for all a man 

desirous of knowing concerning it, he has to acquire by 
cans of great exertions, and that after all the trouble he ta- - 
;s his knowledge always remains but imperfect and insuffi- 
ent. 

174. 2. Holiness and righteousness ; for where there is sin, 
ere can be no true holiness and righteousness. 

175. 3. The free will, to do good and to shun the evil, 
r whosoever committs sin, is the servant of sin, John. 8, 
:. And whosoever is the servant of sin, cannot be said to 
I free, for doing the good and shunning the evil; but on the 
ntrary he is in captivity to the law of sin," Rom. 7, 23. 

176. 4. \mmortality x for it is proved by experience that 
an is mortal. The loss of it has moreover been predicted 

him by God himself: „for in the day thou eatest of the tree 
',. thou shalt surely die," Genes., 2. 17. And after man had 
lien into sin, iis condemnation is thus expressed: „dust thou 
t, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genes. 3, 19. „By one 
m sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so 
ath passed upon all men," Rom. 5, 12 i^^^f or the wages of 
I is death," Rom. 6, 23. 

177. 5. The domination over all living creatm-es; this has 
en lost to such a degree, that not only no other crea- 
re n ow yields that obedience . to man , but it is on the 
ntrary, animated with a great hatred and, ill will against 

178. /3. As another severe loss which man has incurred in 



Chap. Vin. Man's disobedience and fall by sin. 53 

consequence of the fall we have to mention the grace of 
God. ^ox God hates, with a just hatred every evil, and 
He has also expressly predicted unto Adam that death would 
be a sure consequence of his falling into sin. Man has there- 
fore by means of sin, brought upon himself God's judgment, 
and His righteous indignation; and in this manner he has 
made himself unworthy of God's mercy towards him. 

179. b. The evil which man has acquired by the fall, can 
partly be ' deduced from what we have stated with reference 
the good of which he has rendered himself unworthly. There 
again we have to consider the evil 

aa. which has befallen the soul, and that 
bb. which has befallen the body. 

180. aa. 2he miritual evil which has befallen the soul, con- 
sists, in the fact that, instead of hearing the image of God, 
man has put on the image of Satan. This state of things 
manifests itsejf in man's entire ignorance concerning the things 
of God, so that they, being earthly minded, betray a strong 
animosity against God. Instead of its original purity, man's 
heart has been filled and poisened with sin to such a de- 
gree, that ever;^ imagination of the thoughts of his heart 
IS only evil continually. Genes. 6, 5. Instead of lovingkind- 
ness man had to expect nothing from God, but wrath and 
righteous judgment ,^ to escape which , Adam hid_ himself, 
Genes. 3, 8. Insteafl of enjoymg his God, man carried about 
with him an evil conscience, which separated him from his 
God, Isa. 59, 2; and which smote him to such a degree, that 
he did not ventm-e to appear before his God. Finally by sin 
he has, instead of being able to look forward to a life of 
bliss become subject to eternal condemnation. 

181. bb. The evil which has befallen the body can be poin- 
ted out as follows. Man has been driven from paradise. 
Genes. 3, 23; he has been condemned to till the ground with 

great exertion, v. 19, 23; instead of the healtlmil state of 
appiness wich had formerly been his lot, he has become sub- 
ject to all sorts of sicknesses and weaknesses; as Sirach wisely 
says „he that sinneth bdore the maker, let him fall into the 
hand of the physician," Chap. 38, 15. Finally instead of man 
being immortal, death has received power over him. 



KKK»- -rtMft^^jK-^^**— *«*«- 



54 



er IX. 

This great evil and suffering, which our first parents brought upon them- 
selves in consequence of their sins, they have transmitted to their progeny. 



182. Experience teaches us, that the evils and^ maladies with 
which people are visited, they frequently transmit to their 
children. Yea even vice and malice, although being ujaladies 
of the soul, have been observed to have been communicated 
by parents to their children. Nevertheless it sometimes hap- 
pens, that the children of crippled parents are yet in a healthy 
state, and that wic^d people have pious children. 

But not so is it with regard to the sin of the first man. 
For after having once sinned, man's nature became enveno- 
med with sin to such a degree, that his nature has come 
down to his progeny in this sinfiil state. It is therefore that 
no child of man (exept the Lord Jesus, Heb, 4, 15.) is bom 
in a state of purity and holiness, but that all, because' of their 
being descended from the first man, a partakers of sin. 

183. The single act, in the performance of which Adam 
and Eoe transgressed the commandemeM of God, is iher^On 
not only a sin on their part alone, hut also on that of th&ir 
descendants. For Adam had been required to yield obe- 
dience unto God, not oply individually for himself, but also 
in his capacity as ths root of the whole human race. He 
has therefore , in that he transgressed the commandment 
of God, committed sin not only on account himself, but 
also on that of the whole human race. In the transgression 
of Adam all men have done evil ; and accordingly the Apostle 
writes, ,,By one man's disobedience many were made sin- 
ners," Rom. 5, 16. 19. And after the first man had fallen 
into sin they could beget none but sinful children; and thus 
it is that in our days children are born in state of sin. 

184. This state of things is usually described by the term 
„original sin." Which means: the corruption of the human 
nature, in consequence of which man has turned away from God, 
from his works, and His' will, being by his nature inclined to 
shun the good, which it is the pleasure 'of God that he should 
do, or if compelled to do it, is doing it with the greatest reluc- 
tance, — but who, on the other hand,, by nature loves the evil, which 
God hales; having a desire after the same, and whenever he 
can accomplishes the evil, with pleasure and delight. 

1 85. In order to get a clear understanding ' of this 



Chap. IX. Original sin. 55 

state, we need only look at a child. For if left to itself, it 
invariaU^_ acquires evil habits, and scarcely ever any good 
ones. With tnie the child proves, that it is bj nature always 
inclined to evil, and not to good. And even if it is the desire 
of parents, to bring up their children i»the principles of piety, 
godliness, virtue and honesty — even then it is well known, 
what labour and anxiety is required, in order to keep down 
the evil that dwells within their bosoms. Whilst it would in- 
deed cost but little trouble, to mislead children from good to 
evil ; — to which they will always be found willingly* inclined. 

186. Besides every man wul surely make this experience 
by himself that at times, when he desires to hear the word 
of God, to study the scriptures, or other books, which might 
lead him to godliness. For although his heart might be alrea- 
dy regenerated, and although his inward man might strive and 
struggle for the due performance of this holy duty — yet it 
will be found that he is sooner gething tired of it, than of 
any other work, which he had to perform. For many a per- 
son is not ^nearly as tired by a days labour in his usual vo- 
cation as by the hearing of a sermon; but when he has to 
wait upon, and to prosecute his pleasure or other unprofitable, 
fi-ivolous, gluttonous occupations, he never dreams of getting 
tired. And if ihese occupations even should last for a whole 
day, an hour bestowed upon prayer or worship wOuld tire 
him more than even this. If we inquire into the reason for 
these phenomena, we shall discover them to have their source 
in the nature of man, which leads him from the good, and 
inclines him to every evil. This corruption (that namely his 
nature as well as his energies are leading away man from 
God, t.nd from every good principle, and is inclining him to 
every evil) must certainly be of a very sinftd and hateful 
description. — 

187. It is presumed, with regard to the /w-oo/s for the 
corruption of our nature and the existence of ori^al sin, that 
a reflex view of our own heart and conscience, wiU suffice 
thoroughly to convince us of their reality. But for the better and 
surer confirming of the same , we intend to produce the follow- 
ing proofs: , , 

That man is by nature and by his birth invested ^^ith 
sin can be proved : 

188. a. Because all man are descended from parents , who 
have, sinned. For as a corrupt tree bringes forth evil fruit, 
Matth. 8, 18. we must conclude with Job. 15, 14. ff: „What 
is a man, that he should be clear ? and he which is horn of a 
woman that he should be righteous ? Behold hte putteth no 
trust in his saints, yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. 



56 Chap. IX. Original sin. 

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drin- 
keth iniquity like water?" ' ' 

189. b. Bemuse by tHe fall of Adam all man have heeome 
sinners. As St. Paul writes 1. Timot. 2, 14 : „ihe woman being 
deceived was in the transgression." Rom. 5, 12: „By one man 
sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so deaiJCpassed 
upon all m£n, for that all have sinned; v. 15; „throughthe ofence 
of one, many (are) dead;" v. 17: „by one man's offence death 
reigned by one;" v. 18 : „by the offence of one, judgimera came 
upon all men to condemnation.'-'- 

190. c. because all men are conceived ' and born in sin, 
Pslm. 51, 5 : „behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did 
my mother conceive me." , > _ 

191. d. Because man, in his natural state cannot enter the king- 
dom of heaven; the Lord Jesus says, John. 3, 6: that which 
is born of flesh is flesh." But in the preceding vers* he says: 
„Except a man be born of water -and of the spirit, he cannot 
enter the kingdom^ of God." Paul writes, 1. Cor. 15, 50 : nj^sh 
and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." And as it is 
only sin alone, which can possibly exclude man from the king- 
dom of God, and as all that which is born of flesh cannot in- 
herit the kingdom, it is manifest, that all that which is born 
of flesh must he sinfiil. 

192. e. Because to the last houar of his life in man all that 
is to he fou/nd, which in reality only originates with sin. For it 
is evident: 

a. That man is continually inclined to 'commit sin; Matth. 
15, 19: „But of the heart proceed evil thoughts', murders, 
adulteries" etc. James 1, 14 : „but every man is tempted, when , 
he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." 

j3. That all men even those yet unborn are sulked to death, 
Rom. 6, 23: ,for the wages of sin is death." For death has 
cojne upon all men yea even upon those who have not com- 
nlittcd the same sin as Adam,i as is testified by Paul, Rom. 
5, 14: „Death reigned frorp Adam to Moses, even over them 
that had not sinned afier the similitude, of Adam." Ecch 
(Sirach) 25, 24: „0f the woman came the beginning of sin, 
and through her we all die." 

y. That all man are by nature subject to the wrath of God; 
„the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungod- 
liness and unrighteousness of men. The wrath of God rests 
upon all man by nature ; Eph. 2, 3 : „we are by nature the 
childern of wrath." AU man are therefore sinners by nature. 

S. That all men are excluded from the kingdom of heaven, 
yea even those who have not yet committed a!ctual sin: (cf. §. 191.) 
which can be proved by the following argument. Children 



Chap. IX. Original sin. 57 

which die before,' during or after their birth are either admit- 
ted in the kingdom of God or not. If they are admitted into 
it (as is testified by Christ, Matth. 19, 14: „for of such [the 
children] is the kingdom of heaven"), then they must enter there 
by Chnst's mediation ; for „there is none other name under 
heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved," Acts. 
4, 12; as also Jesus himself says, „no man cometh unto the 
Father but by me," Joh. 14, 6. But it are only sinners, which 
are said to come into the kingdom of Christ through him, 
j,I am not come to call the righteous Imt sinners uriio repentance,'-'- 
Matth. 9, 13; „Christ Jesus come into the -world to save sin- 
ners," 1. Tim, 1, 13; „He shall save his people from their sins," 
Matth. 1, 21. If therefore such children can enter the king- 
dom of heaven in no other way than through Christ they most 
indeed be sinners. 'And as before, during or immediately after 
their birtn they themselves, cannot have committed sin, they 
most necessarily be sinners by nature, cf. §. 228. 

193. From this we conclude, that although original sin has 
corrupted the- human nature, yet this nature has not been mate- 
rially changed by this occurence. It is to be considered as a 
great maloidy of m,arCs spirit, but not of his substance and na- 
ture. We may deduce mis from the fact, that God 

aa. has- created that same being, which has afterwards been 
polluted by sin, and that He preserves the same still as one of 
his creatures; ,for we read Acts. 17, 28: „In him we live and 
move, and have our being." But God cannot be said to have 
created original sin. 

bb. That He has redeemed this human nature by the blood 
, of his own son. Acts. 20, 28. Now He has not redeemed ori- 

final sin, but he has redeemed his people from this sin, Matth. 

cc. That He has sanctified this human being by His Spirit, 
Ephes. 5, 26. 27. He has certainly not sanctified original sin. 

dd. That He will raise up the human body on the last day 
to final judgment, Job. 19, 26. It is nowhere said that God 
intends to raise up original sin to eternal life, but on the con- 
tray that He purposes to purify the human nature of this and 
other failings, 1. Cor. 15, 43: therefore original sin is not iden- 
tical with the human nature itself. 



Chapter X. 



ith this original sin originates the death of the body., the corruption of 
the powers of the soul and the body, actual sin, and in consequence of 
s, before the divine judgment the guilt of great disobedience and eternal 
condemnation. 



194. If we inquire after the consequences which the origi- 
<i sin has been instrumental in bringing upon man, we shall 
ive to consider two points, viz. 

'Man, who has sinned^ and God's judgment, whose duty it 
tojpwmh this transgression. , 

We propose to deal with the subject regardmg God's 
dgment in the subsequent chapters. For the present it is 
IT intention^ to proseoate our inquiries concerning man, who 
■s sinned. As the consequences which this original sin has 
ought down upon man, three things are especially to be no- 
sed; which are : 

I. death for the life that now is, and for all eternity. 

n. The corruption of man's abilities. v 

HI. Actual sin. 

195. I. The fvrst consideTation concerns the death of the body 
id the soul. 

God had told unto man , that as soon as he eat of the 
iiit of the forbidden tree, he should surely die , Genes 2, 17. 
nd after man had transgressed this command, God pronoun- 
d the following judgment upon him: y,dust thou art, and to 
ist thou shalt return, Genes. 3, 19. And although Adam and 
ve did not then immediately die, they fell soon after a sac- 
Ace unto this condem,nation. It was in this way that morta- 
y and subsequently death did come oVer all men, Eom. 5, 
}; 6, 23; Eccl. (Siraeh) 25, 24. And altough -accordingly 
an has been created immortal, he has yet become sulgect unto 
3ath by means of sin. 

196. n. As another of the consequences of sin is to be 
insider ed 'the corruption of all maris abilities. There are two 
fferent sorts of abilities to be distinguisted ; which are : 

1. Such as are peculiar but to the human naure, and 

2. Such as he has in common with every vfireasonable being 
nd every oilier creature. 

1. Those that are peculiar only to man, are : 

a. reason, and 

b. wUI. 



Chap. X. Consequences of man's fall. 59 

197. a. The reason is a natural ability, the possession 
of which enables man to perceive and to discern certain things 
which are utterly incomprehensible to every unreasonable crea- 
ture. .This abihty moreover has not been lost to the human 
soul after the fall; for even those who have been bom in sin, 
are endowed with reason and understanding in such a manner 
as to excel over every other creature. But yet this imderstan- 
ding has been darkened to such a degree, that it is impossible 
for man to discern divine things, ot to perceive that which is 
taught concerning God, His nature, His will and His works, 
for although he hstens to that which is implied by this pro- 
position, yet is he thoroughly unable, by his own reasoning po- 
wers to comprehend the things of God in such a way, as 
mighty enable him to believe niat every thing we are taught 
in sciiptifre conceating the same, be realy true. 

Iy8. For instance : suppose some man is told that Jesus 
Christ has been born of a viasgin, without her virginity having 
suffered any injury. He listens to this relation and under- 
stand what it implies. But he objects: I cannot understand 
how this could come to pass, nor can my reason comprehend 
this. Just as the virgm Mary could not comprehend the 
message which the Angel was charged to convey to her; for 
although she heard what he had to say, and perceived the 
import of his speech, as well as the fact itself which the An- 
gel had to anounce to her — she was yet unable to compre- 
hend the truth of the occurrences thus predicted to her. And 
it was for this reason that she said to the Angel, „How shall 
this be, seeing that I know not a man," Luk. 1, 34. 

Again the Lord Jesus, on the occasion of his predictina 
the sufferings through which he should have to pass, as weU 
as, his death and especially his resurrection, was not under- 
stood by his disciples, which though they plainly heard that 
which he had to say were yet unable to comprehend the mea- 
ning of this s lying. And we are expressly told, that because 
of their inability to reconcile that which they heard with then- 
own thoughts, they were unable either to comprehend or even 
to beheve his saying, Luk. 18, 31 : „And they understood 
none of these things , and his saying was hid from them, 
neither knew they the things which were spoken," 

Exacdy so it is the case with our perception regarding 
the things of God, — our reason . is thorougljly incapable of 
supplying that faith which is required for their understaBding. 

199. Although this fact is sutfioiently established by ex- 
perience, we shaB nevertheless endeavour to adduce some far- 
ther proofs. 

d. It is eaipressly said regardixig man, that he is not able 



60 Chap. X. Consequences of man's fall. 

to ■perceive the things of the spirit, „the natural man receiveth 
not the things of the spirit," 1. Cor. 2, r4. ^ 

§. The things of the spirit are foolishness to the understan- 
ding, „the preacMng of the cross is to them that perish fooli- 
shness,"' 1. Cor. 1, 18; „for after that, in the wisdom of God, 
it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them 
that believe ," ibid v. 22 ; „We preach Christ crucified, unto 
the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greecs foolishness," 
ibid v. 23. Cap. 3, 18: „If any man among you seemeth to 
be wise in this world, let him become > a fool that he may 
be wise. 

201. ;'. The natural man is in enmity with the things of 
the' spirit, Kom. 8, 7: „the carnal mind is enmity against God." 

202. §. All spiritual works, which the mind of man is able 
to accomplish, are described as being the work of God, 2. Cor. 
3, 5: „Not that we are sufficient by ourselves to think any 
thing of ourselves, but our suffieiency is of God;" Phil. 1,6: 
„He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it." 
(Of which more shall be said in Aat part of this treatise, 
which treats of man's conversion). 

203. b. Of the will of man it may, also be said, that it 
is quite as corrupt as the understanding; for 

«. It is inclined to sin, and to every evil, to such a degree, 
that he can do nothing Good, nor withdraw himself from the 
evil. Genes. 6, 5 : „Every imagination of the heart was also 
evil continually ; Proverb. 22, 15 : „foolishness is bound in the 
heart of a child." — Yea even man's will is captive unto sin; 
Rom. 7, 14: „for we know that the law is spiritual, but I am 
carnal, sold under sin; v. 19: „the good that I would I do 
not, but the evil, which I would not that I do;" v. 23: „I see 
another law in my members, warring against the law of my 
mind bringing me in captivity to the law of sin ;" Galat. 5, 17 : 
„the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the 
flesh, and they are contrary tibe one to another: so that yea 
cannot do the things that ye would." 

204. j3. The human will is unable to yield that obedience 
to the will of God which is due to Him. The Angels, not 
being under sin, are able to serve God from their free will; 
for they are not carried away by any evil inclination, nor 
misled by any vile and corrupt lusts. As this is impossible 
to man, it may be said with" justice, that through sin he lost 
his free will, which would have enabled him to live in perfect 
obedience to the commandements of God. 

205. The will of a prisoner cannot be said to be free to 
do or not to do whatever he pleases, • — as litde as the will of 
him, who cannot performe, that which it is his ardent desire to 



Chap. X. Consequences of man's fall. 61 

do — and thus the human will cannot be said- to be free. 
For it is captive unto sin, and is prevented by the sinful 
lusts that occupy the heart of every mortal, from performing 
even those good works which he has the intention to per- 
form. In this respect every individual need only ask his 
own conscience, and examine his own experience, and he will 
not be long in finding that whenever he endeavours to per- 
form a good action (be it prayer, or the contemplation of the 
divine mysteries and works, or the performance of other 
practices of godliness), unholy thoughts immediately intrude 
upon him, or he finds a continued state of prayerftdness to 
be tedious to him, and other divine practices to be attended 
with unpleasant ieelings. — And if an^ one finds his state to 
be such, he is to himself a living testimony to the fact , that 
his wiU is continual!^ hindered in the performance of the works 
of the spirit, and in the practices of a godly life; and that it 
can therefore not at all be said to be free, to do good or to 
shun evil. 

206. 2. As to the abilities which man has in common with 
the animals, there may be . mentioned : the senses, the appetite 
or lusts and, affections, and lastly, motion. .With other crea- 
tures he has in common, the abilities which are requisite for 
the maintainance and the reproduction of the race in all which 
great evil is harbourd. For eyes and ears, are inclined to 
wicknedness, and incline to evil and vicious praC|tices; whilst 
on the other hand, they take offence at the exhibition 
of the principles of a upright, honourable and useful life. 
This propensity manifests itself as soon as some vain or foo- 
lish, and uprofitable amusement is to be attended to, which 
none of us will get tired of in spending the whole day with, 
whilst on the other hand when we are required to attend to 
the iduties of divine worship or the preaching of God's word, 
we confess ourselves very soon worn out and tired, 

207. Thus it is with all the lusts and affections, a,nd every 
one ought to make this experience on himself, that he is loaded 
with original sin, and that it manifests itself in him in anger, 
in passion, in lusts aftqr riches etc. 

208. The doctrine which scripture maintains concerning 
this great corruption of our nature may be gathered from the 
extracts which have abready been given. There is finally 
(cf. §. 194.). 

209. Actual dn to be taken notice of, as being one the 
consequences of original sin — and that one of the most im- 
portant, — which we propose to do in the next Chapter. 



62 



Chapter XL 

Actual sin, which originates with the original sin and with the temptations 

o£ the world and' the devil, and with which all men are beset, consists of 

different kinds, which nevertheless all tend to eternal destruction. 



209. Cbncerning actual sin, (which is committed either by - 
an inwafd or an ^ outward action, the following si^ points are 
to be considered: 

1. the nature of sin, 

2. the origine of this sin, 

3. the sinner, 

4. the different degrees of sin; of which some may he of a 
larger and some of a smaller significaMon, 

5. hoiJo these different degrees distinguish themselves from each 
other and 

6. the fruits which are produced hy this actual sin. 

210. 1. With regard to the question concerning the na- 
ture of sin we are in some measure led by the law of naiur^, 
according to which his conscience accuses eYery man of having 
done evil. The»efore the Apostle Paul writes concerning the 
heathen, who had not, like the Jewish nation, received the 
law : that „they are a law imto themselves ..... their though 
accusing or else ex'cusing one another", Horn. 2, 14. 15. 

211. But it is especially the divine law, from which we 
can derive a^ clear insight into the nature and character of sin; 
St. Paul writes : Jiy the law is the knowledge of sin,'- Eonf. 3, 
20; -^ „I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not 
known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet", 
Eom, 7, 7. The law is therefore very justly compared to a 
glass, in which man beholds his natural face, James. 1, 23. 

212. If we inquire of scripture as to what sin reaUy is, 
YTQ fvrid that it consists in all that which is contrary to the law 
of God. It is thus that John. (Epistle, 1, 3. 4.) describes 
sin. And like as every trangression of any law of the autho- 
rities of this world, is considered as evil, so all that to be 
Idoked tipon as sin, by the practice of which the law of God 
is trespassed. 

213. The question now arises, v)hether sin, which has been 
cOfnmitt^ unwittingly, or against ones own will, is also to be 
considered as sin? We answer in the affirmative. For the 
law of God is trespassed not only willftdly and with a pur- 
pose, but also unintentionaUy, — with outward gestures, inward 



Chap. XJ. Of actual sin. 63 

lusts and thoughts. We have therefore to consider the two 
following points : 

214. a. thai, all tiramgressions which have been comitted un- 
interifionaUy and withoid purpose, are also sin, for: 

a. Just as that man, who unintentionally kills another, 
is said to be his murderer i even so is he who trespasses the 
law of God, committing sin, whether he is doing so intentio- 
nally or unintentionally. And as, according to St. John's 
teaching, all that which deviates from the law of God is sin, 
it is evident, that all that must be sin, by which, though un- 
intentionalfy, the law of God is trespassed. 

215. p. The holy scriptures make a distinction between 
the sins , which have been committed wilfully and those which 
have been, committed unintentionally for St. Paul writes Rom. 7, 
16. 19. that he is fl&,ptive unto sin in that he does the eVil 
which he would not do. He makes also mention of that sin 
which he committed in persecuting the Church of God, and 
on this occasion puts together sin and ignorance. 1. Timot. 
1, 13 : „(I) was before a blasphemer and a persecutor and in- 
jurious: but I obtaind mercy, because I did it ignorantly in 
unbelief." And again, H^. 10, 26. wilful sins are especially 
taken notice of; from all which we must conclude, that there 
can be possibly sins committed, which do not happen inten- 
tionally. 

216. y. In the laws of the mosaic institutions, sacrifices 
have been ordained for such among the people, as had com- 
mitted sin out of igtiorance; Levit. 4, 2. 13. 22. 27; 5, 4. 

217. 8. It is also said of the saints that they have daily 
to pray^or remission of the sins which they committed un- 
intentionally, Psl. 19, 12: „Who can understand his errors, 
cleanse thou me from secret faults." 

218. We have also to consider: (§. 214.) 

b. that even that is to he looked upon as sin which has its 
existence only in the thoughts of man. Thus for instance a man 
being desirous to love his neighbour with a brotherly love; 
is told that this his neighbour, has not dealt fairly towards 
him; — in such a case it may well happen that unholy mo- 
tions and thoughts might rise in him with regard to a man 
of this description. Nevertheless he may very much dislike 
such thoughts and emotions, and strive earnestly to get rid 
of them. — Or suppose a man to be in the utmost distress, 
and he happens to get a sight of a valuable treasure, — in 
spite of all his endeavours to keep himself free of such 
snares — there will arise in him certain lusts and desires 
after the possession of the same. Such lusts lead to dutwtrd 
sin, and are therefore marked down as sins, for: 



64 Chap. XI. Of actual sin. 

219. a. All that, which forms the real source of a sin, 
and is as it were the beginning of the same, undeniably stands 
in opposition to the law of God. And that which stands in 
opposition to the law of God must certainly be sin. 

220. ^., The evil lust is forbidden like all other sina. 
For we are commanded in the ninth and tenth commande- 
ment, not to covet our neighbour's house, nor his wife, nor his 
servant etc. nor any thing that is his. 

221. y. This evil lust is expressly called sin, Kom. 7, 7: 
„I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt 
not covet." 

222. In short: every thought, lust and desire, every word, 
gesture, and every work, whatever may be their name, — as 
soon as they are contrary to the law of God, or to the love 
of God, be it wilfully or unintentionally, , or be they large or 
small etc. — they all together are, without any distinction 
actual sin. 

223. We now turn our attention: 

,2. To the reasons in which thii sin originates. For it is 
by no means to he said to originate with God, or that He wills 
and determines sin, or that He is tempting us to, or ordaining 
the, commission of sin. That God is the source of sin is an 
idea which cannot even be iinagined.< For this is just the 
contrary to every thing which He has revealed in nature con- 
cerning Himself. Besides, Scripture plentifiiUy testifies that God 
is not the reason of sin; Psl. 5, 5: „thou natest all workers 
of iniquity" ; Sirach 15, 11 : „Say not thou, it is through the 
Lord, that I fell away, for thou oughtest not to do the things 
that he hateth. He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, 
neither has he given any man licence to sin"; James 1, 13: 
,,Let no man say when ne is tempted, I am tempted by God : 
for God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth he any 
man :" 

224. The real source of all actual sin is to be found either 
within us or without us. Its source within us is the ongi- 
nal sin, or the sinful flesh, of which it is said. Gal. 5, 17 : 
„the flesh lustetb against the spirit, and the spirit against the 
flesh;" V. 19 : „the works of the flesh are manifest, which are 
these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, hatred 
etc." — And the Lord Jesus also teaches- us, Matth. 15, 19 : 
„Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders" etc; James 
1, J^. J.5 : we are told that „every man is tempted, when he 
is«p!OTn away of his own lust and enticed; then when the 
lusphath conceived it bringeth forth sin." 



Chap. XI. Of actual sin. 65 

225. As to the causes from iciihovi which lead man to sin, 
two are to be mentioned, namely 

a. the devil, and 
h, the world. 

226. a. The devil is a cause of sin, because he misled our 
first parents to sin, [and still continues to lead us also into sinning] 
Genes 3, 1. ff. • The Lord Jesus testifies concerning him that 
„he is a liar, and the father of it," John. 8, 44 ; and St. John, 
i. Ep. 3, 8 : „he that committeth sin is of the devil , for the 
devil sinneth from the beginning. 

b. The world also tempts us to sin : Wisdom. 4, 11 : 
„Speedily was he taken away lest that wickedness should alter 
his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul ; for the bewit- 
ching naughtiness doth obscure the things that are honest." 
[1. John. 1, 17> 

227. 3. We have to inquire, who it is, that eommitts sin. 
This can be answered very shortly in the following way: As 
all men are partakers of the original sin, it follows that all 
mfen must also be afiected by sin. For nobody can think 
himself free of it as soon as he examines himself. Besides 
we find this directly and frequently" expressed by God him- 
self, that all men are sinners,- PbIid. 14, 2. 3: „theLord looked 
down from heaven upon the children of man to see if there 
were any that did understand, and seek God: Thei/ are all 
gone aside, .they are altogether become filthy, there is none that 
doeth good no, not one f- 1. Kings. 8, 46: ,,there is no man 
that sinneth not;"- Pslm. 143, 2: „im thy sight shall no man li- 
ving he justified;"' Bom. 3, 23: ^for all have sinned and come 
short of the glory of Oodf Proverb. 20, 9; Eccles. 7, 21; Rom. 
3, 10. 19; 11, 32; Gal. 3, 22 ; 1. John. 1, 10. 

228. Nor are Uule children excepted.from this charge. In- 
asmuch as the passions and evil thoughts which they frequently- 
manifest are contrary to the laAV of God. And that which is 
not according to law, is sin, 1.' John. 3, 4; God Himself 
testifies that the thoughts and imaginations of man's heart are 
evil from his youth, Genes. 6, 5 ; 8, 21. 

229. Neither are the regenerated, in whom the Holy Ghost 
is dwelling, to be excluded. For although they do not permit 
sin entirely to reign in their bodies, they are yet in captivity 
tmto sin inasmuch as they are constrained to do the evil, which 
they would not do; as St. Paul expressly says of himself, 
Rom. 7, 15. 19. 

230. This is moveover testified by the example of regenera- 
ted men of old. Thus David sinned heavily against God, in 
that he committed fornication and murder, 2. Sam, 11, 4. 15; 
Solomon in that he permitted his heart to turn unto idols, 1. 

5 



66 *■ Chap. XI. Of actual sin. 

Kings, 11, 3. Moses and> Aaron doubted the power of God 
and His promises, Numb. 20, 12. Peter denied ChriSt, Matthv 
26. 70. ff; he did not „walk uprightly according to the truth 
of the Gospel," Gal. 2, 11, ll. Not to, mentipn' those sins 
which they committed daily in their intercourse, their thoughts 
and words. For there are a great many hidden sins (Ps. 19, 
13.) which are not observed by any mortal. « 

231. Besides this, it is certain that even the saints have 
dally to pray for the remission of their sins, Ps. 32, 6; Matth. Q, 
12. They can only be saved by grace, Act, 15, ll, and only 
through Christ, ibid 4, 12. ;^ut through Christ none but sin- 
ners find their salvation, Matth, 1, 21; 9, 13. They would 
not stand in need of such a mediator, if they could come to 
God in their own righteousness and without sin, Kom. 4, 7; 
Gal. 2, 21. 

232. 4. The nes;t point we have to consider,, is that of 
he different degrees, which exist in sin.- Although all sins 
agree in this that they ^raw down upon the smneE divine 
judgment and eternal condemnation, there is yet a great diffe- 
rence between the different sins. For some of them are com- 
mitted from ignorace, misunderstanding and simphcity, — 
others from design or wanton wickedness., Therefore says the 
Lord Jesus to Pilate, John. 19, 11: Jie that delivefeih me 
unto thee hath the greater sin. — And St. Paul, on the occasion 
of his referring to the persecutions of which he had been 
guilty towards the Christians, expressly says : that he has ob- 
tained, mercy becausje he did it „ignorantly in unbelief," l.Ti- 
niot. 1, 13. And it is also certain thai any sin which has 
been committed unwillingly, «aA in consequence of the weak- 
ness of the flesh, is not so heinous before the judgment of God, as 
any sin which has been committed with purpose and wllfldly. 

For in the first case the flesh is, as it were, merely en- 
gaged in a struggle with the spirit, — whilst in the latter, this 
struggle has taken such a turn, that i^ow the spirit has been 
made entirely subject to the flesh. 

233. Thus it is, that v/pon different kinds of sin , different 
kinds of punishment are to follow, Luk. 12, 47. 48 : „And that ser- 
vant, which knew his lord's will and prepared not himself neither 
did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 
But he that knew not, and did committ things worthy of stri- 
pesi, shall be beaten y^iih fpw s^pes; ibid. 20, 47: „Whlch 
(Scribes) devour widow's houses and for a shew make long 
prayers, the same shall receive greater dcmmaiion. 

234. 5. We have now to consider more particularly the 
different kinds of sin. It is unnecessary to give an account 
of each of them. Some there are which are committed against 



Chap. XI. Of actual sin, 67 

the first table of the law, and others again, against the second; 
some against the law with reference to the love of God, some 
against that of the love towards the neighbour. But there are 
two kinds of sin which we desire especially to take notice of. 
For a distinction is made; 

a. between peceata mortalia, sins unto death, and pecoata 
venalia, sins wfiich are daily committed and in the commission 
of which, man remains in the grace of God ; and 

b. such sins which can, and sins which cannot be for- 
given. 

Not as though this was to imply, that there are some 
sins that deserve eternal death and condemnation, and others 
again that are only to be visited with some temporary punish- 
ment. With respect to this we know that all sins are „sins 
unto death."' But more especially such sins are called sins unto 
death, which have succeeded in subduing the soul and the 
body, and of the commission of which, no body can be said 
unwittingly to be guilty, nor ever has been said to be so. 

Other sins again are called, in distinction from the latter, 

{leccata venalia, — ■■ because they are not committed willingly, 
t sometimes happens to man, that he is not aware of doing 
any sin at all. Thus St. Paul persecuted the Church, with 
the intention of being zealous for the law, 1. Tim. 1, 13. In 
the same way the Apostles were killed by men, who fancied 
by this act to render God a service, John. 16, 2. 

There are also daily sins committed of 'the commission of 
which, the sinner Hmself is not aware, Pslm, 19, 12; or there 
happen to rise, on a sudden, evil thoughts in the heart of man 
which however he strives to stifle very soon; or a word, an 
unhappy expression escapes him, which he, immediatly after, 
wishes not to have uttered at all. 

235. The distinction between different sins consists there- 
fore in the following facts : Sin unto death is a sin, which has 
been committed, in spite of conscience, out of mere wicked 
design, and concerning which man is aware, that it is sin 
and which yet he hesitates not to committ. By peccatum ve- 
nale, on the other hand, such sins are intended, which although 
they are evil, are yet not known to be so by him, who com- 
mitts them, or are committed in weakness or ignorance. 

236. This difference can be estabhshed upon the following 
grounds: Whenever a sin imto death is committfed, all parts 
of the human body have as it were agreed to the commission 
of the same, so that the sinner is entirely subdued unto sin, 
having r^ected the Holy Ghost and cast away the faith 
which confides in Christs, as the bearer of our sins. All 
this amounts to a sin unto death, because the sinner has no 

5* 



concern eitner m sin, nor in vroas wrain,,ni8 pumemucui, jj 
confession or forgiveness of sin. *Sueh a sinner approache 
very nearly to eternal destruction, and it will be difficult fo 
him to come to repentance. For such a one cannot easily _b 
brought to hate t1ie sin, after Avhich he has such a desirt 
that ne is able for the purpose of enjoying it, to reject th 
grace of God, and to despise His displeasure and His pu 
nishment. He is not easily moved by the law oj God se 
riously to repent his sins; as little as this law had been abl 
to prevent his , committing sin itself. 

, It is for this reason that wilful and premeditated sin i 
called , sin unto death , as Nathan says unto David : yfhou ai 
the man,'-'- (who is deserving death); because he had mad 
himself wilfully guilty of fornication and murder, 2. Sam. 15 
5. 7. But such resmts are not to be feared in the case, wher 
sin has been committed un^^^llingly. Sins of this descriptio; 
therefore, can be mourned over and repented of, and the Hoi 
Ghost also is striving against them and defeating them, Ron 
8, 13; Gal. 5, 16: 17. 

237. a. (cf. §. 234.) Sins lohich can , and .such as canni 
be forgiven, which latter is called the sin against the Holy Ghos 
Concerning the latter we have to inquire: 

A. what is said about it in scripture, 

B. why it is called the sin against the Holy Ghost, 

C. its nature and form, 

D. the reason irhy it cannot be forgiven. 

238. A.. What is said in scripture with regard to th 
sin against the Holy Ghost, can be gathered from the foUc 
wins. The Lord Jesus says, Matth. 12, 31. 32: „Allmann{ 
of sm and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but il 
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unl 
men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the son < 
man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh agodn 
the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this wort 
nor in the world to come."- — The Apostles teach concemin 
this matter as follows: 1. Joh. 5, 16: y,there is a sin unto deal 
I do not say, that you shall pray for it;^'- Heb. 6, 4: „for it 
impossible for those, wh6 were once enlightened , and have tasti 
of^the lieavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghoi 
and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers i 
the \Borld to come , if they shall fall away, to renew them aga\ 
unto repentance ; seeing 'they crucify to themselves the Son of Gc 
afresh and put him to an open shamef ibid. 10, 26 : for if i< 
sin wilfully after that ive have received the knowledge ' of the trutj 
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearf 
looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devoi 



Chap. XI. Of the sin against the Holy Ghost. 69 

'the adversaries. He\thai despised Moses' law died without mercy 
under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, 
suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under 
foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, 
wherewith he was s&nctified, an unholy thing, and hath done des- 
pite unto the Spirit of Grace."- 

239. B. Why it is called the sin against the Holy Ghost"? 
It is so, because all those are sinning against the Hofy Ghost, 
who sin against God, for the Holy Ghost is real God. 

But this sin is especially named in such a way, because 
the commission of the same is qontrary to the teaching of 
the Gospel, 

es. which the Holy Ghost causes to be propagated and prea- 
ched in the whole world. Therefore even those may be said 
(though in another sense), to be sinning against the Holy 
Ghost, who oppose themselves to the ministry of the word, as 
ordained by the Holy Ghost, 2. Cor. 3, 6. Such did the 
people before the flood, in that they did not attend to warnings, 
which the Holy Ghost caused to be set before them by Noah, 
Genes. 6, 3; the Israelites who revolted against Moses and 
Aaron rebelled and vexed the Holy Spirit, Isa. 63, 10; Ana- 
nias and Saphira who lied to the Apostles, are said to have 
lied unto the Holy Ghost, Acts. 5, 3. 4. 

|3. which the Holy Ghost strengthens and seals in the hearts 
of men, bearing witness, that we are the children of God. Eph. 
1, 13 ; Kom. 8, 16. And as the Holy Ghost testifies in tnis 
manner, any one making an opposition to the office of his 
ministry committs a sin against the Holy Ghost. 

240. C- The nature of this sin , and its form. The sins, 
which are to be looked upon as sins against the Holy Ghost, 
must bear the following characteristics : 

a. 2he sinner must have a right knowledge of the true, pure 
and saving faith, or with other words, he must have been 
enligthened and have tasted of the heavenly gift , and tasted of 
the good word of God, Heb. 6, 4. 5. Whosoever does not 
' know this Gospel cannot be said to committ sin against it, 
although he did despise and mock it. Thus St. Paul was, previ- 
ous to his conversion, a persecutor, a mocker and slanderer, 
but he was so in ignorance, 1. Tim. 1, 13. Nor was the sin 
of those who crucffied the Lord Jesus, a sin of such a na- 
ture, inasmuch as He himself prayed to the Father, that their 
sins might be forgiven them, because they did not know what 
they did, Luk. 23, 34. 

241. b. This thoroughly acquired saving knowledge must be 
denied from a free, but wicked design. Evangelical truth can be 
said to be denied under the following circumstances : 



242. a. By an epicurean sort of assurance. Alttiougn 
great many confess the Gospel, yet their works evidently mar 
fest, that in reality they care but little for it. This are the foa 
who say in their heart, their is no God, Pslm. 14, 1 ;_ who s; 
that they „know God, but in works deny him," Tit. 1, 1 
But such people cannot be said- to commjtt this sin, becau 
they deny the truth from too great an assurance, not from 
premeditated design. 

243. /?. Fear of persecutions. If the temptation in tl 
respect becomes very strong, then the devil is very busy abo 
it, and the flesh is weak (Matth. 26,41; Imk. 20, 82.) — 
such circumstances it may well happen even unto confirm 
Christians, that^ sinking under suffering and despair, they de) 
the truth in fear and trembling. As for instance St. Peter, 
whom we nevertheless read that he received remission of tl 
sin. (Matth. 26, 75; John. 21, 15. ff.) 

244. y. By wicked design and premeditation, If there ha 
pen to be no urgent reasons for denying the truth, and tl 
sin is nevertheless committed, it is to be considered as 
Gradus or a step towards the sin against the Holy Ghost. Th 
did for instance the Pharisees, viho knew that Jesus was 
teacher come from God, Job, 3, 2. and who nevertheless reje 
ted his doctrine, contrary to the convictions of their o\ 
consciences. And in the same manner some even in o 
days, who though they have a better knowledge of the trui 
do yet remain members of the Church of Eome, do a 
m-oach, in a great measure, unto this sin against the^ He 
Ghost. Hebr. 10, 25, this Gradus is more especially tak 
notice of. 

245. c. The saving faith which is thus denied must be bit 
phemed. Such a state is especially spoken of by the Lc 
Jesus, who called it ^blasphemy against the Holy Ghost,"' Mat 
12, 31. We read also Heb. 6, 6 : „they crucify the Lord Jes 
afresh and put him to an open shame;" ibid. 10, 29: „w 
hath trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted < 
blood of the covenant, wheremth he was sanctified an unhi 
thing, and hath done despite, unto the spirit of grace." Su 
did the Pharisees in that they blasphemed the Son of G( 
looking upon him as a deceiver, Matth. 27, 63. They bli 
phemed him, saying, that he had a devil. Job. 8, 48. 52. Th 
blasphemed his works, as if they originally proceeded fr( 
the devil, Luk. 11, 15. Whereby they blasphemed the lie 
Ghost, whose work and office the Son of God did accomplii 
Isa. 61, 1. Acts-. 12. 38. 

246. This sin consists therefore in a , premeditated den 



Chap. XI. Of the sin against the Holy Ghost. 71 

and blaspheming of Ae acquired saving, heavenly truth', concer- 
ning the forgiveness of sins, wrought out by Christ. 

247. IJ. It now remains for us to, inquire, why this sin 
cannot be forgiven. The reason for this is not to be sought 
in a deficiency on the part of God's grace, or of the merits 
of Christ, F6x in looking to the will.^ God, and to his grace, 
we find him prepared to forgive every sin, Rom. 5, 20: 
„Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound f 1. John, 
i, 9: „(God) cleanseth us from all inqwity." 

248. If we look to the merits of the Lord Jesus, we find 
that he has cleansed us from all iniquity, Joh. 1, 7. And in 
reading therefore of a sin which cannot be forgiven we are 
not to suspect, either an insufficiency on the part of God, or 
on that of^the merits of Christ. 

249. The real reason why a sin against the Holy Ghost 
cannot be forgiven , will be understood from the arguments 
which have been proposed already; namely because that man 
himself rejects and cuts off aU the means by which he could 
come to repentance and be regenerated. 

250. For a sinner can arrive at repentace and regenera- 
tion 1) through the law, by which his sins are revealed to him; 
2) by ike pf caching of the Gospel of the divine grace ; 3) by the 
doctrine concerning the propitiation for our sins, which has 
been accon^plished by the Lord Jesus ; and 4) by the seal of 
the Holy Ghost, which takes effect subsequent to the heart and 
conscience of man having been convinced, that all which is 
taught concerning the grace of God and the merits of Christ, is 
a heavenly, divine and eternal truth. Besides this there is no 
other means and no othpr way to come to repentace. 

251. Now of all these means he who. committs a sin 
against Holy Ghost, has deprived himself in such a manner, 
that- neither i of them can be of any avail to him. For the 
law, which shows him his sins, he neglects; doing according 
to his own will and pleasure; the grace of God, as well as 
the merits of Christ he has no need for, for he who mocks, des- 
pises and' blasphemes them, treads the Son of God under 
foot, crucifies him anew, and counts the blood of the covenant 
as unholy. He neglects the teaching of the Holy Ghost, rejec- 
ting and mocking it. There remains to such an individual 
therefore no way, by the help of which he can come to re- 
prentance and to the grace of God, -r- although these, means 
are freely offered unto him. . 

■ 252. We have, with' -re^krd to actual sin, to inquire into 
the consequences which this sm is calculated to effect. In ge- 
neral, these consequences are common to all sinners; but there 



are some sins, wbich are proauctive ot tJieir own peculiar co 
sequences. 

253. Consequences which are common to all sins, are: 

N- the wrath of God, and the curse of the laio, which s 
company the wrath of God. Of this it is said Rom 1, 1 
that it is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and u 
righteousness of man. This unrighteousness impKes not or 
the outward and gross sins, but also, without exception, eve: 
thing which is contrary to the Avill of God, as revealed in t 
divine law. God himself hrs said, Deutr. 27, 26: „Cursed. 
he that confirmeth not at all the words of this law to do. then 
As also James 2, 10: „for whosoever shall keep the wh 
law, and yet offend in one point he is guilty of all." If thei 
fore sins are committed by words, thoughts and works, be tl 
ever so insignificant, it is evident that they are unrightheoi 
ness and ungodliness , since tMey draw down upon him w 
is committing them, the wrath of God and the curse of i 
law. 

254. 3- An unea^ conscience. And although one cons 
ence is sometimes much more burdend than the other, th 
yet all agree in this, that, without exception, they are all affi 
ted by sin. Even those who are not aware of having co: 
mitted gross sins, do yet shrink from the judgment of G( 
This circumstance is to be ascribed to the fact that they : 
always „a betraying (rejecting) of the succours which reat 
affords. — St. Paul intimates concerning the heathen, that, 
though the law, was not given to them, as has been the ci 
with the Jews, they had nevertheless the law of God writi 
in their hearts; that their conscience is bearing them witne 
and that their thoughts are accusing and excusing one another, i 
til the day, when God shall judge the secrets of men, Kc 
2, 15. 16, 

255. 3. Eternal condemnation in hell. God visits every 
with punishment in time and eternity. That eternal destn 
tion is the punishment, which, without exception, follows uj 
every sin, will be shewn in the next chapter. 

256. One special consequence of the sin , which has bi 
committed contrary to the convictions of, the conscience, — s 
which afterwards predominates in the heart of man is, that, that 
Holy Ghost is taken from the regenerated, and his faith brou 
to nought; for: 

257. a. By this sin the Holy Ghost is grieved, Eph. 
30; and vexed, Isa. 63, 10. And in cases where the H 
Ghost is vexed and grieved, the Holy Spirit can indeed i 
be said to be present; 

358. /5. This sin, in the heart in which it predomina 



Chap. XI. Of the sin against the Holy Ghost. 73 

has overcome the spirit. In the attempt to drive away the 
spirit, this sin succeeds in all cases, where it has acquired do- 
minion over man. 

259. Where ,the spirit of God dwells, there is life and 
happiness, Eom. 8, 13: „If ye through the spirit do mortify 
the deeds of the body ye shall live;" — 2. Cor. 3, 6: „the 
spirit giveth life." Now wherever the spirit has got the do- 
minion, there is life and, happiness, Rom. 8, 13 : „If ye live 

after the flesh ye shall die;'-'- ibid. 1, 32: „Who committs 

such things are worthy of death;" 1. Cor. 6, 9. 10:, „neither 
fornicators, nor idolaters etc. etc. shall inherit the kingdom 
of heaven." Galat. 5, 19 : „the works of the flesh are these : 
Adultery, fornication etc., of which I tell you before, as I 
also told you in time past, that they which do such things 
shall not inhent the Mngdom of God." 

260. From which we learn: that, wherever sins contrary 
to the convictions of conscience are pi^dominant, there the 
spirit of God cannot dwell. On every occasion therefore, in 
which sins are committed by the regenerated men (as was the 
case with David, Peter and others) the consequence accrues 
that the Holy Ghost is driven out of their heart , and their 
saving faith undermined. 



— >»»»-<s«i^Ei«®iai«iiS<-4 



Chapter XII. 

Whenever man appears in snch a state before God,, the righteous judg 
He in His justice,' requires of him, an entire obedience to all His divi 
commandments; and that man, in consequence of the sins whifch he 1 
committed, should be thrown into eternal condemnation, — unless divi 
justice can be satisfied in another way. 



261. We have here to consider two point, viz: 
I. The duty of perfect obedience, and 

n. The pwrdshmerd of sin, 
I. Concerning the &st point, we have to state the foil 
wing: God has given to every man a law within himself, 1 
which he may direct his life and his actions. This same h 
also demonstrates against man as soon as he does any thii 
contrary to its dictates. Now this iSw of nature has bet 
before the fall, most complete in man ; but as after this evei 
it became darkened by sin, it pleased God, to give this h 
again unto the children of Israel, in a form more agreeable 
their understandings. If therefore, in the following pages, rel 
rence is made to the law, this mosaic law is always inte 
ded. 

262. This law consisted of: 

A. the ceremonial and levitical law, 

B. the political and civil law of the land, 

C. the moral law of the tin commandm,ents. 

A.. The ceremonial law determines the order of the s 
crifiees, which are to be offered to God; the manner in whi 
sins ought to be atoned for; the vows which are aceeptal 
to God, and the manner in which they are to be fulfilled, 
gether with all the rites, which formed part of the Jewish si 
vice. The whole Institution has been a type of Christ. Th 
intended to convey to man the truth, that, like as redempti 
had to be brotight about by the blood of oxen, calves a 
other animals, in the same way also Christ was to be sli 
for the sins of the world, and his blood shed, in order to : 
concile man with God the heavenly Father. That these ■ 
pes were unable to do away sin, the Apostle tells us, Heb. ' 
4; and that only the blood of the Son of God cleanseth 
from all iniquity, John in his 1. Ep.l, 7.: „For by one suf 
ring he hath perfected for even them that are sacrificed." H 
10, 14. In the same way, all the rest of the levitical Is 
had reference to Christ. 



Chap. Xn. God's judgment over the. sinner, 75 

263. But as they have only been shadows and types of 
things to come, they havCj of course, been aboUshed since the 
subject typified has, in due time, made his appearance. The 
Christians therefore; are not subject unto them„i — as St., Paul 
writes, Colos. 2, 16. 17 : „Let no man therefore judge you in 
meat, or in drink,, or in respect of an hoKday, or of the new moon, 
or of the sabbath days: which is a shadow of things to come; but 
the body is of Christ." The following is the conclusion, come 
to by the Apostles, in a consultation held at Jerusalem, Acts. 
15, 10: „Wny tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck 
of the disciples, which neitheir our fatheita nor we are able to 
bear?" ibid. v. 28, 29: „It seemed good to the Holy. Ghost 
and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these ne- 
cessary things, that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, 
and from bloo^, and from things strangled, and from fornica- 
tion." 

264j B. The political and civil law cf the land, that As the 
regulations that were necessary for the maintainance of peace and 
order in the community; by which every man is protected in 
his rights, and by which the practice of wickedness is greatly 
prevented and at , all times punished^, Such laws are frequently 
to be ,met with in the mosaic. >8criptures, concerning whi^b 
three different divisions may be made: .i .),, „ 

265. a., Such laws as heme refer erne only to the Jewish: staie., 
and which are not to be applied to any:other people or. go- 
vernement. , Thus, for iiistanee, no Israelite was permitted to 
sell or to bequeath his property to one of another tribe; and 
from that same reason daughters, who inherited property 
were not permitted to manryinto another? tribe, Numb. 36, 4. 
ff., Thus also was a man, obliged to marry his brother's wife, 
if the latter happened toilremain without issue; and if the se- 
cond husband happened to have a son from this union, he was 
not to , be looked upon ad his son, but as that of his deceased 
brother, who. wks also in titled to the property left by the -first 
husband. Genes. 25, 5. 6. These and other laws of a simi- 
lar nature, have reference only to the different tribes, as they 
existed in Israel, which is not the case among other nations ; 
and they are, accordingly, not allowed any vahdit^ in other 
countries, but, have ceased to exist with the distinctions made 
by the Jewish policy. 

266. b. Sv^h laws, which, although they havevbeen abolished 
by divine authority, i'ave yet 'been made legal in many countries, 
so that nobody is actually bound by them ; thus for instance, 
the law Genes 24, 1. which law has been revoked by the 
Lord Jesus, Matth. 19, 8. 9. . 

267. c. Such laws, as cure conMmially observed by us, and 



have never been abolished. Thus, for instance, the laws agains 
premeditated or accidental murder, Numb, 35, 16 ff; concer 
ning the duties of a judge, Deutr. 1, 16. 17; 16, 19. 20; con 
cerning the poor, ibid. 15, 7. if; concerning witnesses, Deui 
19, 15. And as such laws are founded upon, and originat 
with the moral law, they are again referred to in the Ne-v 
Testament, as being valid; thus, Matth. 15, 4. from Exod. 21 
15^ Acts. 23, 5. from Exod. 22, 28. Nor has God anywher 
freed us from obeying these laws, but we are on the contrar; 
still bound to honour them. 

268. C. The moral law includes those, which" have beei 
written upon the tables of stone, and concerning which mai 
is especially bound to answer before the judgment seat c 
God. For to the obedience we yield unto these laws, God ha 
promised life and happiness, but for the trespassing of th 
same his curse and eternal condemnation. 

In this respect two things are to be attended to, whic 
are : 

1. whai is it that entiles God to exact this obedience fror, 
us f and 

2. whether the law can be fulfilled by any man, who coulo 
by these means, acquire that righteousness, which he ought to hav 
before his God? 

269. 1. The question as to what entitles God to exact thi 
obedience from us, we answer as follows. God is entitled t 
this obedience because of His having created us, by whic 
act we have become his property. For every work is th 
property of the master who formed it. God has therefore 
right, to exact from us complete obedience to all his com 
mandments. To this we are in duty bound. Nor can it b 
said, that God requires of us something which i^ is impossibl 
for us to accomplish, seeing that he has given us sufficier 
powers, to enable us to do His will. And although sin ha 
deprived us of this power, it is evident that God is still en 
titled to require it of us, considering that it had been ou 
duty to flee_ the sin , and to strive for the preservation of th 
powers, which are requisite for the yielding of this obedience 

270. 2. Can this law be fulfilled by any man , who coulc 
by these means, acquire that righteousness, which he ought to hm 
before Gad?, God requires of us a complete obedience, where 
by we are able to satisfy every demand, which the law ma 
kes upon men, Deut. 27, 27. 26. He therefore, who tree 
passeth against one commandement , is guilty of the who] 
law, James 2, 10. Now the law requires the obedience c 
the whole heart, the whole soul, and of all might, 'Deut. 6, t 
That man, therefore, cannot be said to have been, obedient t 



Chap. Xn. God's judgment over the sinner. 77 

the law, who has committed sin even but once in his life, be 
it by a sin from within himself, or without him, be it by the 
heart or the soul, yea if it were but only with a thought 
against God or against his , neighbour. He , on the con- 
trary, who kept the whole law, has the promise, that he should 
be justified by it, Levit. 18, 5. ff. : „ye shall therefore keep 
my statutes and my judgments, which, if a man do , he shall 
live in them." Galat. 3, 12. 

271. From this it would seem, that righteousness and eter- 
nal life are considered to rest upon complete obedience to the 
law of God; but it must also be kept in noiind, that no man 
upon earth is able to fulfil the law, or to do aU that, which 
Crod requires of him, as also that no man is able, in fulfilling 
the whole law to acquire that righteousness, which he ought 
to have before ♦God; for: 

272. a. All men are sinners:, Pslm. 143, 2: „For in thy 
sight no man living shall be justified ;" Eccl. 7. 20 : „for there 
is not a, jii^t man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth 
not;" Eom. 3, 23 : „fbr all have sinned, and come short of 
the glory of God." Galat. 3, 22: „the scripture hath conclu- 
ded all under sin." 

273. p. The scripture intimates maw's inability to fulfil the 
law; Acts. 15, 10: „A yoke . . . which neither our fathers, 
nor we were able to bear;" Eom. 8, 3: „What the law could 
not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending 
his own Son," etc. 

274. ;'. No man can be justified and redeemed by the law. 
For that man only, who is obedient to every particle of the 
law, shall live by it. Now by the law no man shall live, 
Eom. 3, 20: „By the deeds of the law no man shall be jus- 
tified in his (God's) sight;" Galat. 3, 11, 12: „But that no. 
man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident : 
for the just shall live by faith : and the law is not of faith ;" 
V. 21, 22 : „If there had been a law given which could have 

fiven life verily righteousness should nave been by the law; 
ut the scripture hath concluded all unto sin." Accordingly 
no man can fulfill the law; and all those who trespass 
against the law, are all subject to the curse and to condemna- 
tion. And as all men trespass against they law, they are all 
subject to the curse. 

275. II. The second point we have to consider (§. 261.) 
is the punishment of sin. Concerning this we aught to keep 
in mind, what has been said concerning sin, namely that it 
draws down the wrath of God. And punishment is always 
near at hand, as soon as the wrath of God is provoked. If 



tnereiore it is saia oi ltouj mat xxe is a merciiui, lougouucii 
and good God, who is repentbg punishment, and who forgi^ 
sin, — this ought to be understood to imply: thai if > 
righteousness of God has beefi offended hy dn. His mercy ca 
not possibly have its full sway, and sin cannot be forgiven, ut 
dioine justice has been fully and amply satisfied on account 
these sins. 

276. With this, three things are suggested,' which are 

1. Justice, 

2. the punishment which sin deserves, and 

3. the satisfaction (comp. §. 406 ff.) , which satisfies just 
and removes the punishment. 

The punishment, is hell and eternal condemnation. Conci 
ning Justice it is to be said, that God, agreeably to this I 
attribute hates every sin. And as He is the judge of all i 
world (Genes. 18, 25 ; Pslm. 9, 5. 9.), He deals as a rightec 
judge. Now a judge of such a description, must adjudge i 
cording to the confirmed law, and cannot leavi impunish 
any sin, which is condemned in the code by Avhich he is gi 
ded. And although it cannot be said of God, that-laws ha 
been prescribed to him by which he is to judge; — yet 
must be supposed that His nature as well as His holinf 
and justice, miist be looked upon as the rule which are 1 
leading principles of His judgments. He cannot, therefore, 
this very reason pass over any action which is contrary 
justice, without any retribution being exacted for it, — if 
dee^he intends to judge with justice, and not contrary to 

277. Now God's wrath against the ungodly is of sucl 
nature, that it unceasingly rests upon the sinner, Eccl. 5, 
— The fire of his indignation, once kindled, burns down ui 
the lowest hell, Deutr. 32, 22; in short, God is a consumi 
fire, ibid 4, 24; an everlasting burning, Isa. 33, 14. An 
dignation of such a description, which exists unceasingly, 
fire which burns unto the lowest hell, cannot refrain itself, 
the wrath must be active, the fire must bum. In the sa 
manner it must be said that the righteousness and wrath 
God, cannot possibly cease to punish sin with' eternal destn 
tion, as long as these sins have not been atoned for, and 
this means a way has been prepared for the exercise of mer 

278. And as it is in the power of no mortal, to h 
himself, nor of any other creature to assist in remedying 
evils which sin has been instrumental in bringing about, 
as we read Pslm. 49, 7. 8: „None of them can by any mei 
'fedeem his brother nor give to God a ransom for him; for 
redemption of their souls is precious and it ceasethfor ever,'-'- — 



Chap. Xni. Of God's merciful purjjoaes. 79 

follows, that the wrath of God, is always resting upon man, 
and that the latter has to expect nothing from God out eter- 
nal destruction. This is the natural state in which man now 
appears before us, if \ye view him with regard to the spiri- 
tual condition of his soul. 



Chapter XIII. 

God, although in His Justice He might have condemned all man to eternal 

destruction, has yet been merciful to the poor sinner, and it is His will 

that all men should come to repentance. 



279. Up to this, we have been considering the natural 
state -of man,_ as it represents itself to us after its having been 
affected by sin. It is now our aim to consider, whether man 
is destined' to he lost and destroyed in this condition. For under 
exactly the same circumstances, God has not even spared the 
Angels but cast them down to hell, and delivered tnem into 
chains of darkness ; to be reserved unto judgment, 2. Pet. 2, 4. 

280. We find this our question answered in the Lamen- 
tations of Jeremiah 3, 22: „It is of the Lord's mercies, that 
we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not, they 
are new every morning, great is thy faithfiilness." Even then, 
when we were still subject unto death he has „abolished death 
and hath brought life and immortality to light," 2. Tim. 1, 
10; and „delivered us from the power of darkness and hath 
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son ," Col. 1, 13. 

281. We have now to treat of this work of grace of our 
God; more especially: 

I. concerning His gracious purposes with regard to the sin- 
ful human race', and 

II. concerning the means, which He has graciously provided 
to this end. 

282. I. It is the gracious purpose, or will of God, that 
all man, which have sinned, should obtain mercy and be saved. 
In this respect we have to attend to the following distinctions, 
viz: 



80 Chap. XIII. Of God's merciful purposes. 

Although it is the will of Grod, that all men should 
be saved, it is yet not His purpose to have them saved, in all instances 
whatever may be their behaviour towards Him and His Grace 
[obedience or disobedience]; but on the contrary He has, or-' 
dained certain means, by which man is to obtain this end, 
and it is His purpose, that ajl man should lay hold of the 
same, and by this means be reconciled to Him. This may 
•be called His general will. 

283. Now it happens, that but few men are avaihng 
themselves of these means ; whilst they are "rejected by the 
greatest number of men who remain in their evil career. It 
is, accordingly, the will of God, that those who accept those 
means, stedfastly remaining in the faith of Christ even unto 
their end, — that those should be partakers of eternal salva- 
tion ; the rest of mankind , is subject to eternal destruction. 
This may be called His especial will — according to which He 
wishes some to be saved (which will or counsel is called the 
effecixml calling, or the appointing of some to eternal life) 
whilst the remainder is to be given to eternal destruction. 

284. A.. In this Chapter, we intend to treat especially on 
the subject of the general purpose of God; and it is to be 
considered under the following heads : 

a. God desires the eternal welfare of all men; 

b. God has, with regard to this His will, that all man should 
be saved, appointed certain means, by which those who avail 
themselves of it, are to be saved; 

c. God has, in this highly important work, plainly and 
perceptibly revealed His wiU in His word, — and He 
cannot be said perhaj)s to confess in His word, to be 
desirous of our Salvation, and on the other hand to be se- 
cretly determining our destruction. 

d. It is not involving a contradicton on the part of God, when 
it is said, that He is desirous of the Salvation of all evil men, 
and yet also determines that as they obstinateUy reject His 
proffered grace, they all should be eternally condemned, (He 
knowing that they should remain in their evil ways). 

285. a. That God is desirous of the Salvation of all man, 
is to be proved as follows : 

1. God clearly and determindly expresses it, that He loves 
all man and that he will thai all shall be saved; Hesek. 18, 
23, 32; 33, 11: „As I live saith the Lord, I have no pleasure 
in the death of wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way 
and hve;"_Matth. 18, 14: „Even so it is not the Avill of your 
Father which is in heaven, that one of those little ones should 
perish f 1. Timot. 2, 4: „l^Ao will have all mm to be saved, 
and to come to the knowledge of the truth;" 2. Pet. 3, 9: 



Chap. XIII. Of God's merciful purposes. 81 

God is ^not willing that any should perish bvi that all should 
come to repentance." 

286. 2. God will be merciful to all who have sinned; Eom. 
11, 32 : „for God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he 
might have . mercy unto all;" Galat. 3, 22 : ,jthe scripture has 
concluded all unto sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ 
might be given to them that believe." — And that all men 
have sinned, will be evident from the passages already quoted : 
Prov. 20, 9; Eccl. 7, 21; Rom. 3, 23. It foUows from this, 
that God will have mercy on all men. 

287. 3. God desires the wellbeing even of those who are 
not yet converted. That it is God's desire to bring such unto 
salvation , there can be no doubt. And if it can be proved, 
that He desires the evildoers also to be saved, it will be evi- 
dent, that He "will that all men shall be saved. Now God 
testifies his gracious purpose towards the unconverted, saying; 
„I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious peo- 
ple which walketh in that way which was not good, after 
their own thoughts," Isa. 65, 2 ; — „Because I have called and 
ye refused; / have stretched out my hand, and no man regard- 
ed; but ye set at nought all my counsel, and would none 
of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity ; I will mock 
when your fear cometh," Proverb. 1, 24. ff.; Matth. 22, 3, 
the king is said to be> inviting all men to the marriage -feast, 
and that it is his pleasure, that all should be partakers of his 
grace, from which fieast yet a great number are disobediently 
staying away, mocking and killing the servants of the king, 
who are afterwards destroyed by the army of the king, v. 
67. This parable has reference to the kingdom of heaven, 
and shews it to be God's pleasure, to see in the kingdom of 
heaven even such as are disobedient to His commands, and 
who reject his gracious invitation. 

288. 4. God has sent Sis Son to the whole of manMnd. The 
men to whom God has sent His son, the same also does He 
wish to become citizens of His heavenly kingdom, and par- 
takers of eternity; it must therefore be admitted that he wishes 
all to become heirs of eternal life. 

289. 5. God calls every man to^ecome an heir of His king- 
dom and to partake of lEs salvation. Now him, whom God 
is calling unto salvation, the same also He desires to be sav- 
ed, Matth. 28, 19: „Go ye therefore and teach all nations" 
etc. Mark, 16, 15 : „Go ye into all the world, and preach 
the Gospel to every creature;" Acts. 17, 30: ^,(Go<^ comman- 
deih all men every where to repent." Coloss, 1, 28: „Whom 
(Christ) we preach, warning every man in all wisdom, fhat we 

6 



82 Chap. Xin. Of God's merciful purposes. 

may present every man perfect in Ohrist Jesus." From which 
follows, that it is God's will, that all men should be saved. 

290. B. We have now to consider the proposition thai God, 
for the pvrpose of carrying into effect His gracious pwrposes con- 
cerning the weUbeing of men, has appointed certain, means and 
ordinances. Though it is the will of God, that all men shall 
be saved, yet they are not to arrive at this end , without cer- 
tain means, which it is quite in their power to reject or to 
awail themselves of, thus enjoying perfect liberty in all their 
actions. On the contrary certain rules have been laid down 
and means provided, which are accessible to all men, who 
thereby may become heirs of eternal life. 

291. To which end He has, more especially, sent His 
Son, who has taken upon him human nature, and having suf- 
fered for the sins of mankind has reconciled them to their 
heavenly Father. These facts are to be preached to men, in 
order that they might be seriously induced to repent and to ac- 
cept of this redemption, and not to reject it ; to trust to their 
Kedeemer the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to doubt their being 
graciously accepted by God. He justifies them by this faith; 
and regenerating them by his word and sacrament, he strength- 
eneth their faith by the word and sacrament etc. These are 
the means by which He desires man to be saved. 

292. That the employment of these means is indeed the will 
of God, can be proved from the fact of His having revealed 
His will accordingly: Ezek. 18, 21: „If the wicked will turn 
from all his sins, that he hath committed . ,. . he shall surely 
live and not die," v. 24 : „ When the righteous tumeth away 
from his righteousness, and conamitteth iniquity ... in his sin 
that he hath committed he shall surely die;" Mark. 16, 16: 
„IIe that believeih and is haptized shall be saved; but he that 
believeth not shall be damned :" John. 3, 18 : „He that believeili 
on him (the SorC) is not condemned : but he that believetK not, 
is condemned already, because be hath not believed in the name 
of the only begotten Son of the Father; 1 Timot. 2, 4: „Who 
(God) will have all men to be saved and to come unto the- 
knowledge of the truth;" 2 Petr. 3, 9 : .,(the Lord) is longsuf- 
fering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that 
all should come to repentance." From which we leaxn that 
God will have all men to be saved, but with the condition, 
that this salvation be effected in the manner He has thought 
fit _ to ordain; which is: that the ungodly return from his 
evil ways ; that the just always remains in his righteousness ; 
that^ the sinner repent, and come .to the knowledge of the 
truth in the faith of Jesus Christ.; it is in this way only 



Chap. Xni. Of God's merciful purposes. 83 

(and by no other meails) that the will of God can be accom- 
plished concerning man. 

293. Another point for our consideration is: that God 
Has, in this very important affair, ihorougJdy revealed His will 
in His word, and that He cannot be said, to pronm in His word 
one thing, whioh in His secret counsel He has determined diffe- 
rently/. This assertion scarcely stands in need of any proofs ; 
for: 

294. a. Such an impression is quite in contradiction to the 
light of nature [that is within us], seeing that every man must 
be convinced of the fact, that such a .supposition could only 
be stated by an ungodly man. 

295. |3, It is contrary to all that, which God Has reveal- 
ed concerning TSis faithfulness. He is not a man that He 
should Ue, but all His words are true, and that which He 
has promised He performs, Numb. 23, 19; 1 Sam. 15, 29; 
Pshn. 33, 4; Tit. 1, 2. 

296. If we were permitted to imagine that, God promises 
one thing in His word, and then determines difierentiy in His 
counsel, — ^ it would come to this, that nobody would have 
any coiifidence in the revealed word. For it would then al- 
ways remain a subject of uncertainty, whether God is indeed 
so minded, as it is expressed in His word, or whether He 
has not determined diflferently in His counsel. Thus circum- 
stanced, the Christian faith would indeed be at an end, since 
no body would be able to put a simple minded and sure con- 
fidence into the benevolent assurences of God. But we know, 
on the contrary, that our faith is to be founded upon a rock; 
that is, our faith is to be build upon an assurance and con- 
viction of the faithfulness of God and His word, of so firm 
a nature, that neither flood nor storm, that is, neither tempta- 
tion, nor danger nor assault might be able to subdue or to 
destroy it, Matth. 7, 24 25. The divine word therefore, from 
which comes the "faith, Rom. 10, 17, must stand so sure, 
that nobody should have any reason to doubt its integrity; 
which could not be the case, if it were not certain, that God 
is indeed intending to carry out every thing, which He is 
promising in this word. 

297. God is not contradicting Himself when He desires the 
salvation also of wicked men , and yet also wills (because He is 
aware of their determination to remain in their evil ways) that 
those who obstinaiely reject His gracious offers should be dam- 
ned. This question has been admirably expounded by our Lord 
Jesus Christ, in his two parables concerning the marriage feast 
of the king, and concerning that of the great supper: Matth. 
22, 1. and Luk. 14, 16. 

6* 



84 Chap. Xni. Of God's merciful purposes. 

298. Wfe observe, in both instances, that the giver of these 
feasts are said to have had two sets of purposes, which are: 

1. A gracious will, a joyful inclination, in consequence of 
which they strove, for the wellbeine of the invited guests, and 
desired them to enjoy, all their wedth, and 

2. A judgment will, in consequence of which , they deter- 
mined that those who had been invited and who had ungreat- 
fully and uncourteously rejected the oflFer, should ultima,tdy not 
be allowed to enjoy their grace and bounty. Both these de- 
terminations do not at all contradict each other, although, in the 
one case, the- guests are desired to enjoy the feast, whilst in 
the other that boon is denied them. 

299. In the same way our Lord can be said to have two 
determinations, of which the one is the gracious will, which by 
some of the Fathers has been called the preceeding will; be- 
cause God, in determining it, was not previously waiting for 
man's committing actions of piety, or wickedness, or grati- 
tude or ingratitude, obedience or disobedience — but is offe- 
ring to all, without any exception, grace aijd salvation. — The 
second is called the judgment will, which some of the Fathers 
have called the subsequent or succeeding will, because 
it is said of Him, that He forms His determination accor- 
ding as men have accepted and availed himself of the kind 
and merciful offer of God. And if they have rejected and 
despised it, He meets them with disgrace and condemnation, 
rejecting them from before Him. Just as God, therefore, is 
desirous in His merciful purposes, of the wellbeing of men — 
so also does He determine, for the sake of His justice, .that 
all those shall be saved, which have [accepted the proffered 
grace ; which blessing is to be denied to all those who reject 
His grace. 

300. It can therefore be said, of God, that He is dealing 
with us like kind and pious rulers. They do desire nothing 
more earnestly than the wellfare of their subjects ; which latter 
they will always exhort in a kind and affectionate manner; 
yea they will even intreat them to behave well, ■ that they might 
be able to enjoy all the benefits consequent to a proper me. 
And if it happens that these affectionate cares are rejected, 
and the requests and entreaties of the rulers not attended to; 
but that they are, on the contrary, laughed to scorn and then: 
good advices openly spoken against — then Ae gradous 
purposes must, ultimately cease, and justice take its course. 
Upon which the rulers finally will cease to be careful of the 
wellfare of such misbehaved subjects, and of course have them 
punished. 

301. In all such cases, the kmg, the father or the rulers 



Chap. Xin. Of God's merciful purposes. 85 

cannot be said to have contradicted themselves, although un- 
der certain conditions they would have been inclined to do a 
thing, which in others they refiise to do. In the same way 
it cannot be said of God that He is contradicting Himself, 
if, in the one case, He is said to desire the salvation of all 
men, and in the other, — their condemnation. 



Chapter XIV. 



Such as do not reject the gracious purposes of God, but listen to, aiid 
accept of, them with a true faith, and remain in them unto the eqd: — such 
has God ordained unto eternal life, elected from among the human race, 
and determined to come unto salvation; — but such as do not believe or 
who fall from the faith, God has not elected, — but has determined to re- 
main in their sinful state, by which they will be eternally lost. 



302. We have, in this Chapter, to consider the subject of 
God's judgment's will. This takes effect in the event of some 
persons accepting of the proffered grace, and of others rejec- 
ting it. This wUl is of a twofold nature. We hav§ therefore 
to consider: 

I. God's merdful will 
n. Qod's severe will. 

303. We desire moreover to consider the obedience or 
the disobedience of man, which are determining the will of 
Gf)d, — not as it now appears to us, but as it has been 
known to Omniscience from all eternity. He has, by means 
of this latter property, from all eternity 'known all those who 
were finally toperish in their unbelief^ — or those who would 
have faith -in His Son, and remain stedfast in their belief, even 
unto the end. For to Him aU future events &re as if they 
were present before Him. He therefore permits the first to 
remain in their unbelief, and consequently in that state of con- 
demnation, which He has pronounced iipon all those, who do 
not' repent and believe. — Whilst on the other hand he chos- 



86 Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 

es and ordaines the latter to eternal lifci- This act has been 
designated, by the church, as the election . of grace. 

304. But for the better understanding of this subject, we 
haye to direct our attention to the following six points: 

1. the explanation of the .term election of grace; 

2. its nature; 

3. at what time has this electidn of grace taken place ; 

4. what are Gods purposes concerning those whom He 
has chosen by the election of grace; 

5. what ' it is that has determined God in this His deter- 
mination; 

6. which m^n He has elected. 

305. 1. Concerning the term : election of grace it must be 
remembered, that scripture itself is making use of it. St. Paul 
himself calls it the election of grace, Rom. 11, 5. And the 
Lord Jesus himself designates it as an election : "Many be 
called" says he, Matth. 20, 16; „but few chosenf — Ephes. 
1, 4. we read: „He (God) hath chosen us ... . before the 
foundation of the world;" as also Eom. 8, 33: „Who shall 
sav any thing to the charge of God's elect^"- This act is cal- 
led an election, from the circumstance that not all men, but 
some, out of their number, ,have been chosen, to be parta- 
kers of the grace of God, and those few have therefore been 
elected by God, from amidst' the whole race of mankind, to be 
his children and heirs. 

306. 2. The nature of this election may be defifled as fol- 
lows. It is the divine counsel according to which God, from 
all eternity, out of mere grace and compassion, has ordained, hy 
his Son Jesus Christ unto eternal Ufe those men, who in his om- 
niscience he knew would hold fast the faith in the Lord Jesus 
even unto the end. 

307. 3. At what time this election has taken plaae? We ans- 
wer: that it has come to pass before all eternity, as we are 
expressly told in scripture, Ephes. 1, 4 : „He (God) hath cho- 
sen us in him before the foundation of the world; as also 2 
Timoth. 1, 9 : „Who (God) hath saved us and called us with 
an holy calling . . . according to his own purpose and grade, 
which was given us in Christ before the world began*"- If the- 
refore the election of grace has been from the beginning, be- 
fore the world has been created, it follows that its existence 
does not fall in the space of time, but of eternity. 

308. 4. As to the question concerning God's purposes 
with regard to this act, it is to be stated, that God has been , 
pleased to ordaiti the elect to the full and eternal enjoyment of 

his grace ; — to the adoption of children, Ephes. 1,5; to 

be the image of Ms son, Rom. 8, 29 : „for Whom he did fore- 



Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 87 

know, he did also predestinate to be conformed to the image 
erf his sonf — to be justijied and gloried „for, whom he did 
predestinate, them he also called : and whom he called, them 
he also justified : and whom he justified, them he also glori- 
fied," Rom. 8, 30 ; — finally to salvation, 2 These. 2; 13. 

309. 5. What it is which has determined God in this elec- 
tion? - ■ Where there is an election, there must be one pre- 
ferred to the other, which is just the case in the question be- 
fore us. But we have to consider how it happens, that it 
has pleased God to ordain to eternal life not all mankind, 
but a few from among them. Mther God has, merely accor- 
ding to His pleasure and counsel, elected some unto eternal life, 
and from thej same causes ordained others unto etemaJ destruc- 
tion; or He has seen in the one individual something, by 
which He was determined to elect the same, and which He 
missed in another individual, for absence of which the latter 
could not be ordained unto eternal life. 

310. As there are, on this head, different opinions, among 
different classes of men, we have to inquire 

A. What it was which God has not been cohsiderini/ in 
this work, and 

B. What ii was, that He has considered, in the elect, and 
why it is that He has preferred those whom He did elect, to 
others whom He did not. 

311. A,. Concerning the first inquiry it must be remembered, 
that God has not out of mere wilfiil determination, or because 
it merely pleased him so to do, elected some unto eternal life, 
and ordained the "greatest' number of m,en to eternal destruction; 
for 

a. This contradicts the great goodness and lovingkind- 
ness of our God; for He does not wish the death of the un- 
righteous, nor that any one should be lost, but that all should 
be saved. Knowing this we arrive sit the following conclu- 
sion : that Being to whom God inclines so graciously, that He 
does not wish his death and his destruction, but rather that 
he should be saved — such an individual God cannot, for no 
other reason than his mere will or pleasure, deprive of eterUal 
salvation; — from which follows, that God in the act of this 
election, did not follow merely his own bent and inclination. 

312. b. God has chosen us in Christ: Ephes. 1,3.4: „Who 
(God) hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly 
places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us," etc. etc., 
which entitles us to the conclusion : that if God Has chosen 
one through Christ and in Christ, He cannot have done so 
out of His mere pleasure ; for the expression Jn Christ" shews, 
that this grace nas been bestowed upon us , merely for the 



88 Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 

sake and the merits of Christ, as we are told, 2 Timot- 1, 

9 : „Who {God) hath saved us, and called us according to 

his own purpose which was given us in Christ Jesus before the 
world began."- The expression „in Christ Jesus" refers to the 
faith , for by this faith we are in Christ and he in us, Ephes. 
3, 17. Now God has chosen us in Christ and through nim : 
from which follows that He has done so, from another mo- 
tive than His mere pleasure. 

313. c. We are elected according to the foreknowledge of 
God, Eom. 8, 29: „Whom he did foreknow, he also did predesti- 
nate;" — 1 Petr. 1, 1. 2: „to the . . . elect according to the 
foreknowledge of God the Father." From which we conclude, 
that he whom God has chosen, after first having, as it were, 
examined him, the same is not .chosen by Q-od because of 
His divine pleasure, but because of his being found fit and 
proper for this purpose. 

314. We have farther to observe, that God in detemdning 
His purpose had no v^egard to human virtue, piety and good 
works. Thus He has not, for instance, chosen some imto eter- 
nal life because of their having abounded in the exercise of 
any of these works , or rejected others , for reason of 
their having been found wanting in some of these virtues or 
good works. For if it were so, then : 

a. Would this counsel of God amount to an election con- 
sequent to man's deserving, and could therefore by no means 
*be looked upon as an election of grace. 

315. /3. But the whole work of our Salvation is resting 
entirely upon the grace of God, and not upon oiu: piety or 
merits; for „bi/ grace are ye -saved, through faith; and that not 
of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man 
should boast." Ephes. 2, 8. 9: „the kmdness and love of 
God our Saviour towards man appeared; not by works of 
righteousness, which we have done but according to his mercy he 
saved us.'^ If, accordingly, the work of our salvation can be 
proved to rest upon grace and not ' upon our own merits, it 
must follow that ihe election of grace is, likewise, the effect of 
grace and not of our own merits. 

316. y. Of this election and ordination of the children of 
God we are also taught, that it is not the result of their good 
works, but of the grace of God: „Who hath saved us not ac- 
cording to our own works, but according to his own purpose 
and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the 
world began." 2 Timot. 1, 9 ; — „(God) having predestinated 
us unto the. adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, 
according to the good pleasure of his will to the praise and glory 
of his grace, whereby he hath made us accepted in the belo- 



Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 89 

ved," Ephes. 1, 5. 6. And the Apostle Paul, after having, in 
the eleventh chapter of his Epistle to the Eomans," commen- 
ted upon this doctrine, concludes the same with the words: 
V. 35: y,W}io hath first given to him, and it shall be recompen- 
sed unto him again ?" And in the fifth and sixth verses of the 
same chapter, ne draws up a comparison between grace and 
works in ' the following manner : „At this present time also there 
is a remnant according to the election of grace; and if hy grace, 
'' - -■ -^ --- ofw^ ,r - • - 



is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. 
But if it be of works, then is it no more grace, otherwise work 
is no more work." 

317. B. We have, secondly, (cf. §. 310.) to inquire, 
What it was fhat God has been considering in determining His 
election of grace, thus preferring one individual before another; 
electing to eterifal life but a certain number — but not Ihe whole 
of mankind. With respect to this subject it is to be remembered : 

«. That God, "in the work of election, has been conside- 
ring none but the Lord Jesus Christ, as can be proved by the 
Bible passages, Ephes. 1, 4. 5; 2 Timot, 1, 9. — All men 
are, through Christ, reconciled unto God, 2 Cor. 5, 19. — 

„Grace and ttuth came by Jesus Christ," John. 1, 17 God 

has made us acceptable in the beloved (that is, in His Son), 
Ephes. 1, 6: ^neither is there salvation in any other: for there 
is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby 
we must be saved (except the name of the Lord Jesus)" 
Acts. 4, 12, 

318. b. God has, in this act , considered the Lord Jesus 
Christ, not only in as far as he has suffered on behalf of all man- 
kind, and bom their sins: for in this case there would be no 
difference* between those of the different destinations, nor the 
possibility of an election, since Christ would have born the 
sins of all. It is therefore to be kept in mind, that : 

319. c. God haSi in this act, been considering the Lord Je- 
sus Christ, in as far as the latter has been accepted by men. 
For he whom God has shown special grace, and in whom he 
has manifested His great love, the same has undoubtedly re- 
ceived and accepted the Lord Jesus, by whom he has been 
reconcUed and brought to grace , not only by his merits , but 
in deed and in truth. Now the election of grace is a divine 
work, in the performance of which God manifests His great 
love towards the elect, thereby testifying that they have oeen 
indeed reconciled unto Him. From which follows , that the , 
elect of God have received and accepted the Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

320. d. If is also to be observed, that the Lord Jesus can 
be accepted by men in no other way, than by faith. Tbe~na- 



90 Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 

ture of this we shall have occasion to explain subsequently; 
for the present it may suffice to observe, that faith is the firm 
conviction, on the part of man, that God is mercifully inclmed 
unto him, and that He has forgiven him his sins, and purpo- 
ses to make him heir of eternal life , because His own belo- 
ved Son had born the sins of mankind on his own body, paid 
a ransom for them, and cleansed them with his blood, — that 
man, being reconciled unto his God, might henceforward approach 
Him without fear and trembling. Whosoever owns such a, con- 
fidence, lays hold, along with it, of the mercifiil promises of 
God, as well as of the merits of Christ. This is the faith by 
which the Lord Jesus is received into our hearts, and dweUs 
in it, Ephes. 3, 17. and it is on this account that the Apostle 
Paul observes, Heb. 11, 6: that „Without faith it is tmpos- 
sihle to please God," — Want of faith makes a man a cast 
away, as Paul and Barnabas were preaching to the hardened and 
stiffiiecked Jews of Antioch, saymg : „It was necessary that, 
the word of God should first have been spoken to you, but 
seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of 
everlasting life, lo, ■\\'e"turn to the gentiles." Acts. 13, 46. _ 

321. e. God has, therefore, in the act of election, conside- 
red no other circumstance, but that of the Lord Jesus having been 
received along with his merits, and righteousness, into the 
hearts of some men. And these men having been entirely re- 
conciled to Him, God has elected them unto eternal life. — 
Whilst on the other hand He considered that, with some men 
no faith would be found, who must accordingly be said to 
have rejected the Lord Jesus in unbelief, — that they would 
not partake of his righteousness and bis merits, and therefore 
stiU remain in their sins and under the burden "of the di- 
vine wrath, — for all these reasons they have been found 
without Christ, and have therefore not been elected to eternal 
life. 

322. This it is tliat constitutes the difference between 
those, whom God has elected, and those whom He has rejec- 
ted, viz : that some have been found in Christ, which has not 
been the case with the rest; just as the same qualities serve 
to constitute the distinction between those, who have been sa- 
ved, and those who have been damned. „He that believeth on 
him (the Son) is not condemned: but he that heliebelh not is 
condemned already, — he that believeth on the Son hath ever- 
lasting life and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; 
but the wrath of God abideth on him," John. 8, 18, 36. 

323. f. Thus God, in that He has elected the believing 
of mankind, and rejected the unbelieving from among them — 
has been considering especially man's^faith. — This is not to 



Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 91 

be understood as if this faith could, by itself, ^ve unto any 
man such a worth and value, by the considering of which 
God might be induced to the work of mercy, and thereupon 
to elect this individual: no, faith is only to be considered as 
a mearjs, by the exercise of whieh the Lord Jems Christ it uni- 
ted with man, and in consequence of which union, Christ's in- 
nocence, righteousness and merits (which we have shown to be 
the only qualities, which are considered in the act of election) 
are applied and appropriated unto man. Which means nothing 
else, than that we are justified before, and saved by God, not 
for the sake of man's faith and his good qualities alone , but 
for the sake of that faith, which has laid hold of the merits 
and the righteousness of the Lord Jesus, and by which man 
desires to be justified and saved. 

324. g. God* has, in this act, been considering the Lord 
Jesus Christ, not only as he may be ■ dwelling in man for a 
moment, but as he is dwelling in him, until the hour of his 
death. Like as salvation is promised but to those, who remain 
in their faith steadfast feven unto the end, so has God, but 
those, concerning whom he foreknew, that they should remain 
in this faith unto the end, ordained unto eternal life, as we 
are taught by Christ himself „he that endured to the end shall 
be saved," Matth. 10, 22. — Those, on the other hand, who 
fall again irom this saving faith, are said to obtain a severer 
condemnation, inasmuch as the faith which they had been pos- 
sessing, is of no avail to them, and their latter end shall the- 
refore Ibe worse with them ihan their beginning; for it would 
indeed have been better for them never to have known the 
way of righteousness, than, after having known it, to turn from 
the holy commandment delivered unto them, 2 Pet. 2, 20. 21. 

325. Finally it is to kept- in mind, (as has been shown 
formerly), that the election of grace has taken place before 
the creation of the world, even froni all eternity, — in a period, 
in which neither man , nor.' faith nor even the merits of 
Christ had as yet any existence. It is therefore the act of 
the election of grace, and all that which has been adduced in 
favour of it, in the j)receeding argument, to be referred to 
God's eternal foreknowledge, by means of which He has fore- 
known from all eternity, t^e existence of men, their faith, the 
merits of Christ etc. For to Him all future things are not 
future but present. We are, therefore, entitled to the accep- 
tance of the principle, that God was able to elect certain men, 
although thy were not yet created, to pronounce with refe- 
rence to their belief or unbelief, and to determine concerning 
their future state, — as also to consider in this act, the Lord 



92 Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 

Jesus Christ although he had then not yet existed as a real man, 
nor entered upon the exercise of the functions of his office. 

326. 6. It now remains for us to inquire into the second 
point, — • namely which men God has accordingly elected'^ "But 
this question has been sufficiently entered upon in' the course 
of the precaeding inquiry; and we have found as its result, that 
only those have been elected, who remain in their faith steadfast 
unto the end. Which again proves that not all mankind, but 

-only a small part of the same have been ordained unto eter- 
nal life, since there are but few who prove faitbftd and re- 
main steadfast in their faith unto the end. A few other 
points remain yet to be mentioned, which are: 

a. that God has not ordained and elected all men to eternal 
life: this can be proved: 

a. by the expression „elect" which is made use of for 
this purpose; for where there is an election, there the whole 
canflot be intended. If, therefore, none but the faithful have 
been ordained to eternal life, it foUoAvs that all men can- 
not have been ordained to this end. 

B. By the eatress declaration of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Matth. 20, 16: „Many be called, but few chosen." 

y. by the fact that that the elect have come to this calling 
but through Christ. For none have been elected, but those 
who are m Christ ; moreover those only which are in Christ 
are the believing people of God, which proves that but the 
faithful and no other men have been elected. 

327. b. That the number of the elect is buf, small, if com- 
pared with the great bulk of the ungodly; — yet if considered 
by itself they form a considerable body. But few are chosen if 
compared with great number of the ungodly; as we read, 
Matth. 20, 16. — But yet there are a great number which 
belong to the elect, as we read Eevel. 14, 1 : „And I looked, 
and lo , a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an 
hundred forty and four thousand^ having his- father's name writ- 
ten in their foreheads." — 

Thus much is to be said concerning the merciful purpo- 
ses and decrees of God, 

328. God's severe decree ''of judgment is contained in His 
determination, according to which all those, who do not be-, 
lieve, become subject to his wrath, and are doomed to eter- 
nal destruction. But, with all this, we are not to imagine the 
existence of some paa-ticular^or secret counsel of Goa„ ATith 
respect .to the eternal destruction of the ungodly, and the con- 
demnation of unbelievers. The fact is, that all mankind have, 
by sin, become subject to the wrath of God and to eternal de- 
struction, but that God has graciously provided a remedy 



Chap. XIV. On the election of grace. 93 

against these impending evils. But it so happens that some 
do accept of this prorored grace, whilst others, in that they 
chose to remain in unbelief, wilfully reject it, and in reality 
never come to the enjoyment of the benefits, which this re- 
medy is intended to convey. It is for this purpose, that the 
faithful are seperated fi-om the number of those, who thus are 
falling a victim to eternal destruction, — and that they after- 
wards come to the enjoyment of it. Whilst the unbe- 
lieving, on the other hand, are in the state in which they have 
fallen by th^ir sins, and by which they are lost for ever, — 
because they did not chose to accept of the proffered help. 
And the Son of God has made no alteration with regard to 
this decree ; „He that believeth not," says he „is condemned 
already," and „he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: 
the wrath of God abideth on him," John. 3, 18. 36; namely 
that wrath which is revealed over all sinners. Which pro- 
ves that the Lord Jesus did in no wise intend any alteration 
of God's eternal decrees, as referred to in the course of this 
Chapter. 



94 



Chapter XV. 

l<"or the purpose of putting into execution tliis His will, God has sent His 
Son into the world, that, having taken upon hira human nature, he might 
accomplish every thing, which was necessary for the salvation of mankind. 



329. In order, that the gracious decrees of God concer- 
ning man, might not be in vain, God has, in due time, after 
man had sinned, began to put into execution fill .that, which 
He has intended from all eternity ; which accomplishment he 
commenced -with the sending of His Son, who along with the 
exercise of his office is to be looked upon as the founda- 
tionstone, upon which alone the whole scheme of our salvation 
is to rest. And for the fuU developement of this plan, we in- 
tend now to speak 

of the Person and the office of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
In doing which A\e have to treat in the first instance, 
of the Person of Christ, and to consider: 

A. the coming of the Messiah, 

B. his name, 

C. his person, 

D. his nature, 

E. the union of the two natures, 

F. the reciprocal communication of their' respective proper- 
ties, 

G. the two different states of Christ, viz : his state of hu- 
miliation, and that oi exaltation. 

330. A.. Respecting the coming oj the Messiah, there are 
two questions ,to be inquired into : namely 

1. Whether the Messiah or the Saviour, whose coming the pro- 
phets had foretold must necessarily have come already ? — That 
a Saviour has been promised by God in times of old, who 
might bear the burden of our sins, and deliver us from our spiri- 
tual enemies, can be proved by bible passages, such as : Genes. 
3, 15; 2, 3; Deutr. 18, 15; Isa. 35, 5; 53, 4. 5. 6; 59, 20; 
Mich. 5, 1. Hagg. 2, 8; Zach. 9, 9; Maleach. 3, 1. ff. All the 
promises contained in these passages can be proved to have 
been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, Tby the following argument: 
A great part of the circumstances by which the Saviour was 
to be recognised, do not any more exist in our days, so that 
the Messiah could now not possibly be marked out nor re- 
cognised; from which we conclude,, that as the circumstances. 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Chriet. 95 

which God has pointed out as such, at the existence of 
which the Messiah was to be recognised, do not any more 
exist, it follows that the Saviour must have abready appeared. 
For they were expressly said only to be discernible in the 
time of the Saviour. But these signs have not been seen 
since 1800 years, which proves that the Saviour must have 
abready appeared 1800 years ago, 

331. Of the signs which were said to be cotemporary 
with the appearance of the Saviour, there are especially to 
be mentioned four, viz: 

a. the Saviour was to come at the time when the gover- 
nement 'should be taken away from Israel. Genes. 59, 10: „the 
sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgivea* from 
between his fbet, until Shiloh come." Now it is well known 
that the Jewish nation has lost its independence 1800 years 
ago ; that it had then come into the hands of the heathen He- 
rod, and that, in the time of Christ's birth, the whole nation 
was paying tribute unto the roman emperor Augustus, Luk. 
2, 2. Thus the first sign of the coming of the Saviour was 
dispensed with, inasmuch as the nation, about this very time, 
was loosing its independence, and this sign £ould therefore 
refer to no other than to Christ. 

332. j3. The Saviour was predicted to appear whilst the 
second temple was as yet standing , which had Ibeen erected by 
Serubabel in the time of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and 
Malachi, subsequent to the babylonian captivity; and concer- 
ning which Haggai, 2, 6 ff. : had been prophesying, „yet once, 

it is a little while, and the desire of all nations shall 

come, and I will fill this house with my ylory . ... the glory 
of the latter house , shall he greater than that of the former. '■'■ — 
Malach. 3, 1 : „Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall 
prepare my way: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly 
come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, 
whom ye delight in." This pledge also has been redeemed, 
as this temple has been destroyed 1700 years ago, and not a 
vestige of it is to be found any where; which being the case, 
the Messiah, even if he should come at any other time, could 
not be recognised. 

333. y. The levitioal sacrifices should cease before the co- 
ming of the Messiah: Jerem. 3, 15. 16. 17: „And I will give 
you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you 
with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to 
pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the lan4 in 
those days, they shall no more say: the arc of the covenant of 
ilie Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they re- 
member it, neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done 



96 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

any more; at that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne 
•of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to 
the name of the Lord, unto Jerusalem;" etc. — Daniel 9, 
25. 27: „Unto the Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks 
and threescore and two weeks: . . ,. and in the midst of the 
week he shall cause the sacrifice to cease." -This proves that 
the Messiah was to appear after the cessation of the sacri- 
fices, and as this event has taken place 1800 years a^o, the 
Saviour must have then appeared — whereby also this sign 
has found its determination. 

334. §. The Saviowr was to come from the seed of Abra- 
ham, the trihe of Juda, and was ho he a descendant of David."- 
— Faithful Abraham received the promise: Genes. 22, 18: 
„In thy seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." 
Of the tribe of Juda Jacob has prophesied, .Genes. 49, 10; 
and unto David this Son was promised, 2. Samuel. 7, 12. 13: 
„And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy 
fathers I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed 
out of thy bowels, and I will establish Ws kingdom" etc .The 
Messiah was to be recognised by' this, that he was to spring 
from the generation of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and be 
a descendant of David. But to discern this, namely who 
among the Jsraelites now living be belonging to the one tribe 
or the other, is an utter impossibility, since all the leading 
tables, registers, etc. have been lost in the progress of events ; and 
this' sign again being done away with, the Saviour must have 
appeared already. 

335. 2. A second question is, who may be this Saviour: 
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, or any other Individual f We ans- 
wer : that besides Jesus of Nazareth no other Saviour can be 
named, if we consider, in the first place, the deplorable end 
all those have found who have unjustly laid any pretension to 
this high distinction, as Theodas and Judas of Galilee, cf. 
Acts. 5, 36. 37., and also Barcochab, who had, in the time of 
the emperor Adrian, declared himself to be the saviour, and 
after having roused the people to revolt, was, along with his 
deluded countrymen utterly destroyed. Since then the Savi- 
our has come already of a certainty, and since none can be 
pointed out as being that Saviour, but Jesus of Nazareth, it 
follows that he must be undoubtedly the Messiah. 

336. It is also to be considered, in the second place, that 
the appearance of the Lord Jesus has been accompanied by all the 
sings of the Messiah. And we must therefore conclude, that 
sudi an individual by whom aU the sings, by the existence 
of which God intended to haye recognised his Massiah, are 
to be found, must indeed be the Messiah which He has promised. 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 97 

Now in the Lord Jesus all those marks which were to point 
out the Saviour are to be met with, in so clear and circum- 
stancial a manner that nothing can be wanting; which pro- 
ves the Lord Jesus to have been the promised Saviour, All 
this will be sufficiently understood, when we point out those 
sings and apply them upon the Lord Jesus. He was to be 
bom of a virgin from the seed of Abraham, out of the tribe 
of Juda and of David's house, just at a time, when the inde- 
pendence, of the Jewish people was to be at an end, when the 
temple was still standing; but the sacrifices were soon after to 
cease ; he himself should be a mighty teacher, and perform 
manjr wonders and signs; he should "be rejected and despised 
by his own people, swd for thirty pieces of silver and afier 
having been nailed to the cross and killed , rise up again on 
the third day fiftm the dead and ascend into the heavens. These 
were the contents of the prophecies made concerning him. 

337. Although the Jews maintain that at the time of the 
Saviour's coming the swords have not been beaten into plough- 
shares, nor their spears into pruning hooks: Isa. 2, 4; — that 
the wolf did not then dwell with the lamb, and the leopard ly 
down Avith the kid, ibid. 11, 6; although the mountain's did not 
then drop sweet wine nor all the hills sweet wine, Amos 9, 13 ; 
yet this all can be fully and satisfactorly answered and accounted 
for, by the consideration that the kingdom of our Messiah was 
not to be a kingdom of this world ; that , on the contrary he 
vj^as rather to be poor, despised, and rejected of men: Zach. 
9, 9. Isa. 53, 2. 3, And we are moreover told' that the 
fathers of old, who had departed from this life previous to 
the Saviour's coming, were to be partakers of this kingdom, 
which proves that the latter was not to an earthly, but a hert- 
venly and spiritual kingdom. 

338. It was for uiis reason that the prophets used to 
clothe their visions concerning the spiritual things of the Mes- 
siah in parables of earthly and worldly subjects ; and we have 
to learn from this that not all their prophecies concerning the 
kingdom of Christ, are to meet with a litteral fulfillment. Thus 
we read Isa. 55, 12 : „for ye shall go out with joy and be led 
forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth 
before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall 
clap their hand." Nor does the nature of the different prophe- 
cies admit of Christ's kingdom being looked upon, and expec- 
ted to be, an earthly kingdom. 

339. For instance : the view that there was to be no more 
strive upon earth contradicts the prophecy made by Daniel 7, 18.21. 
22 : „the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and 
possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and evei- ... I 

7 



98 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

beheld and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevai- 
led against them; until the ancient of days came, and judg- 
ment was given to the saints of the most High ; and the time 
came that the saints possessed the kingdom." — We are also 
told that there should be great rejoicing in the kingdom of the 
Messiah, a promise which is again contradicted by the mournful 
state, the Messiah and his people were predicted to come into. 
For we read, that he was to be poor, Zach. 9, 9; that the 
shepherd was to be smitten and his sheep scattered ibid 13, 
7 ; that he was to belike a worm, a reproach of man and despised 
of all people; that dogs should compass him, his hands and his 
feet be pierced, that he should be able to tell his bones, Pslm. 
22, 6. 16. 17; — he was to be esteemed stricken, smitten and 
afjSicted, Isa. 53, 4. 5. All which could not have been accom- 
plished, if the establishment of a kingdom of Worldly enjoy- 
ment, such as the Jews expected it, had been intended, 

340. Like as, therefore, these prophecies have been shewn 
to require to be spiritually discerned and understood, so also 
are they to be considered to have found their spiritual fulfil- 
ment. That which has been prophesied concerning peace, in- 
tends to convey an impression of that time when Jew and gen- 
tile shall dwell together in peace and harmony; — or if we 
read of wine and milk than those spiritual and heavenly gifts 
of the grace of God are intended, which nourish and sustain 
the soul in the same manner, as is the case with wine and 
milk with reference to the body. 

341. B. The name of the Son of God. The scriptures 
apply to the Son of God many names, which partly refer to 
his nature, and partly to his office. With reference to his 
divine nature he is called: „the Son of God," Matth. 16, 16; 
„the image of the invisible God," Coloss. 1, 15 ; „the bright- 
ness of his glory and the express image of his person," Heb. 

1, 3. > - 

With regard to his human nature, he is called:' „the seed 
of the women," Genes. 3, 15 ; „the seed of Abraham," Heb. 

2, 16; David's „righteous branch" Jerem. 25, 5;' „t)avid's son," 
Matth. 22, 42; „the son of man," Matth. 26, 24. 

With regard to- his q^ce, he is called: „the Christ," which 
is a greek word and coincedes with the hebrew word Mes- 
siah; — and the „ Anointed-," for the Messiah has been an- 
ointed hy the Holy Ghost Pslm. 45, 8. Act. 10, 38. — Now 
formerly there were anointed none but the high priests, Exod. 
28, 41. the prophets 1 King. 19, 16; and the kings themselves : 
1 Samuel 10, 1; 16, 12. 13; from which follows, thati Christ 
has been anointed to be our highpriestj our prophet and king. 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 99 

/ . 
and might with right be called our MesMah, our Christ and 
the Anointed. 

With reference to his office the Messiah is also called 
„Je8US" which denotes one, who assists and saves. The rea- 
son of the designation we learn from the words of the angel, 
Matth. 1, 21: „Mary shall bring forth a son and shall call 
him Jesus, for he shall save his people froni their sins." — 
He is also called „the Lord our righteousness," Jerem. 33, 6. 
because by him alofie the lost righteousness of mankind is to 
be recovered; Dan. 9, 24; — „£nmanuel, God with us," be- 
cause of his having reconciled men unto God, as the Media- 
tor and Redeemer. 

342. C- The person of the Son of God. Jesus is the se- 
cond person of tjje Trinity, begotten of the Father from all eter- 
nity. He is therefore the only true and eternal God, of one 
substance with the Father and the Holy Ghost, as has been 
proved elsewhere. Cap. 5. 

343. IJ. Christ 8 two natures. There' are two natures in 
this one person, viz: the divine and the human nature. The 
existence of the divine nature has been proved in the fifth Chapter. 

Concerning the human nature it is to be observed, that 
with Lord Jesus this nature has been made partly equal to 
that of other men, partly not. 

344. The equality of his nature with that of other men, 
consists in its substance, and in the changes it has been sub- 
ject to. That the Lord Jesus had a real human, natural body 
is evident: for 

«. He is the seed of the woman. Genes. 3, 15; the seed 
of Abraham, Genes. 7, 18; the Son of man, Matth, 26, 24; 
this being the case, he can have no other but a natural hu- 
man body. 

345. ^. It is expressly told of him that he has taken 
upon him flesh and blood , Heb. 2, 14 : „Forasmuch then as 
the children are partakers of' flesh and blood, he also him- 
self likewise took part of the same." As also Jesus himself 
says unto his disciples. „Behold my hands and my feet, that 
it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh 
and bones as ye see me have," Luk. 24, 39. 

346. Y- Human changes have befallen him: he has grown 
in stature, Luk. 2, 52; he has been hungry, Matth. 4, 2; he 
has been thirsty, John. 19, 28 ; he has yiSded to sleep, Mark. 
4, 38. and finally, he has died, John. 19, 30. 

347. Jesus did also own a reasonable human soul, this 
can be deduced partly from the passages already quoted, 
partly also from his own words, when he says: „My soul is 
exceeding sorrowful, even unto death," Matth. 26, 38; — when 



10» Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

he calls upon his heavenly Father : ,,Father into thy hands I 
commend my spirit," Luk. 23, 46. and finally when he says 
to the thief upon the cross „to day shalt thou be with me in 
para^ae," (ibid. v. 43) which he did not mean to be accom- 
pHshed in the body, but in the soul. 

348. Although with regard to the changes, which the hu- 
man nature of Christ has been subject to, it has been partly 
shown aljeady, how that he has been hungry, thirsty, how he has 
grown etc., it is yet to be kept in mind, that he has not been 
subject to all the changes, which the human body has to undergo 
without any distinction, but on the contrary he has expirinenced : 

a. Such, which in itself are neither unclean, nor sinfid; 
because he has been free from any sinfid pollution. (Of this we 
shall have occasion to speak subsequently.) 

b. Such only which are the properties of nature, and as 
such common to the whole human race; and not such which 
happen to belong to the one or the other individual nature. 
Thus we read nowhere of his having fallen ill, or of his ha- 
ving suffered any dislocation of his Umbs or of other maladies. 

349. In Christ's nature there consists an meg'MaKft/ with 
the human nature in two points: viz 

N- In his wonderful conception and birth; for he has not 
been born in the usual course of nature in consequence of 
the cohabitation of man and wife, and therefore not by the 
mere working of God's power by Avhich He sustains the con- 
tinuance of the human race in the usual manner ; — but he 
has been conceived by a virgin in consequence of the Holy 
Ghost's overshadowing, and' performing this work in her. For 
the prophecy, Isa. 7, 17. runs thus. „Behold a virgin shall 
conceive^ and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ;" 
and the anouncement of the angel Gabriel : Luk. 1, 31. „Be- 
hold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth .a son, 
and shalt call his name Jesus." And on Mary's asking: 
„How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" the angel 
answered: „the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and thepow$r 
of the Highest, shall overshadow thee, v. 34, 35. 

350. 2- In the holiness of his nature. For sin , although 
it has come upon all nien, has not polluted him, and he is the 
only one amongst the children of men, who has kept pure from 
sin, Heb. 7, 26: „Such an Highpriest became us, who is holy, 
harmless, undefiled, separat from sinners.]' Isa. 53', 9: ,,He has 
done no violence, nor is any deceit in 'his mouth;"- 1 Petr. 2, 
22 : ,jWho did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;'- 
2 Cor. 5, 21 : „For he (God) hath made him to be sin for us, 
who knew' no sin." It was for this same reason, that he did 
not hesitate to make an appeal to the consciences of his very 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 101 

enemies: „ Which of you,'^ he aska them, „conmnGeth me of sin-,'- 
— a word which could be applied upon no other individual. 

351. E. The union of the two natures. These two natu- 
res: viz the divine and the human nature, are united not in 
such a manner as for instance God is living in the hearts of his 
saints, or as the body is surrounded by the garments, or the sun 
by the circle in which he moves; nor can those two natures 
be §aid to be mixed up with each other or changed. But as 
in man the body and the soul, in coming together, are forming 
one body, even so are the natures in Christ united to one 
•person. 

362. This union can be estabHshed by the quotation of 
the following passages: John. 1, 14. we are told concerning 
the Word (that is, the Son of God) that „the word became 
flesh and dwelled among us." 1 Timot. 3, 16 : „ Without con- 
troversy great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest 
in the flesh;" JLvk. 1, 35: „tnat |ioIy thing which shall be born 
of thee shall be called the Son of God;" Galat, 4 : „When the 
fulness of the time was come, God sent forth "his /Son, bom, 
of a womjan;" Coloss. 2, 9: „In him dwelleth the fulness of the 
godhead bodily.." _ 

353. But this does not mean to convey the idea of two 
persons or two Christs. For although Christ has, on taking 
upon him human natu,re, retained his divine nature, yet the 
human nature in that it has been taken by the Lord Christ, 
has been made to partake of the divine nature; so that it can- 
not by any means be "said that there are two persons, of which 
the one is God, and the other man; but that both are God 
and man in one person. 

354. This can be proved by the fact: 

a. That the scriptures expressly teach,' and frequently 
refer to, the wmft/ of the person of Christ; Rom. 5, 15: Jesus 
Christ is the fulnisss of grace and the only man standing in 
Grace; ibid. v. 17: „They which receive abundance of grace 
.... shall reign' by one: Jesus Christ." v. 17: „By the obe- 
dience of one shall many be made righteous. 1 Timot. 2, 5 : 
„there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ 
Jesus;" 1 Cor. 8, 6: „One Lord Jesus Christ." 

355. b. That the scriptures testify of the Son of God that 
he has become flesh and dewelled among men. John. 1, 14: 
„The word became flesh and dwelled among us etc.:',' 1 Cor. 
15, 47: „the second man is the Lord from heaven." 

356. c. That the scriptures do ascribe properties which 
are the attributes of the human nature, to the whole persoii; 
thus for instance, when the human body of Christ is handled 
and felt: it iS said that by this action the Word of life and the 



102 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

hving God has been seen and handled, 1 John. 1, 1. After 
the human nature had been nailed to the cross, we are told, 
that by this act the Lord of glory has been crucified (1 Cor. 
2, 8), and that the prince of this life had been killed, Act. 3, 
15. This mode of expression could not be made use of, if 
there were in Christ two persons : the one divine, and the other 
human, and not both one person. 

357. V- The communicalion of the properties of the two 
nakmes. If body and soul are to be united to each other, it 
is necessary for them to have all their properties in common. 
For if this were not the case, and if the soul did not any more 
attend to the peculiarities of the body, and the body did not 
partake of the properties of the soul, than their union would 
soon have to come to an end. But this is not to be under- 
stood, as if the soul and the body did communicate to each 
other all their properties, without any distinction; no, this is 
only the case with such properties, which perform, work or 
suffer something. The soul communicates to the body the abi- 
lity to move, to see and to hear etc. whilst, although immortal 
in itself, it can yet not be- said to impart to the mortal body 
this property. 

358. Exactly so it is with the two natures of Christ. As 
they were to be united to one body, they must also have all 
their properties in common ; yet not without a certain distinc- 
tion ; for especially those are thereby intended, which • refer 
to activity, performance or sufferings. It is, therefore advi- 
sable in this question, not to make ourselves any concern, as 
to whether the godhead had communicated to the human na- 
ture all its divine properties, and how this could possibly have 
taken place. — But m hearing of a certain property having 
been communicated to the two natures we will, do best, to 
rest satisfied with the fact; — whilst, if on the other hand, 
there is nowhere anything said concerning any given property, 
we have to take care not to invent any thing concerning it; 
and to put aside aU our private opinions. 

359. In order to the better understanding of this matter 
three different^ ways of expression have been made use of: 

Thus, it is said, in the first instance : thai which is pecu- 
liar to the one nature, is peculiar not to this one nature alone, 
but is to be ascribed to the whole person, which includes the two 
natures. Thus it is peculiar to human nature to be born, to 
spring from the seed of David, to suffer and to die etc. But 
this is ascribed not to the human nature alone, but to the 
whole person, thus evidencing, that the said properties are be- 
longing to the Tvhole Christ — on account of his human na- 
ture; for we read, Kom. 1, 3; „His Son Jesus Christ our 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 103 

Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the 
flesh ; Galat. 4, 4: „God sent his Son, bom of a tBoman',f 
Luk. 1, 35; „that holy thing which shall be lorn of thee, .shall 
be called the Son of God ;« 1 Cor. 2, 8 : „they have crtm^ed 
the Lord of glorv;^' Acts. 3,15: „ihey killed the Prince of life f 
Zach. 12, 10: „tney shall look upon me (the Lord God), whom 
they have pierced';" Rom. 8, 32: „He (God) has not wared 
his own Son but delivered him up for us all," Gal. % 20: 
„the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." 
1 Peter. 4, 1 : ^Christ haih suffered for us in the flesh. 

360. In the same way the properties of the divine nature 
are ascribed to the whole person, which is yet not only God, 
but man. For as divine properties and works are to be con- 
sidered the facts: that Christ is, before he become man; 
that the world ^as been created by him ; that he has redee- 
med mankind from eternal death and condemnation; that he 
is the Lord of the heavens. AU which is said coriceming the 
individual person , John. 8, 58: „Verily, -verily, I say unto 
you, before Abraham wfs, I am;" Ephos. 3, 9 : ^God who 
created all things h/ Jesus Christ;" Acts. 20, 28: ^The church 
of Ood, which he kcdh pv/pchased with his own blood." 

361. Another mode of expressing the same thing is : Jf 
one natwre is performing something, the other nature is also 
engaged in the same. This saying has special reference to the 
divine works, which belong to the offices of the Lord Jesus. 
As such are to be considered: that he is the Mediator be- 
tween God and man ; our High priest ; our Shepherd, Bishop 
and only judge, etc. For the redeeming from the curse, the 
bringing of the blessing of Abraham to mankind; the clean- 
sing from sin, the reconciliation between God and men, — 
all these are the works of a divine power and not of any crea- 
ture whatsoever. But yet they have been wrought in conjunc- 
tion with the human nature. 

362. From the curse of the law we ^re redeemed, as acon- 
sequence of Christs having been made subject unto the law, Ga- 
lat. 4, 4. 5 : „God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, 
made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. 
— He has conferred the blessing of Abraham upon mankind, 
inasmuch as he has has been made a curse for us. Galat, 3, 
13: „Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, 
being made a curse for us . . . that the blessing of Abraham 
might come on the gentiles." — • Christ has cleansed us from 
our sins, by his blood: 1 John. 1, 7: „the blood, of Jesus 
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." — He has justi- 
fieth us by his blood: Eom. 5, 9 ; he has reconciled us to him- 
self; he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." 



104 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

2 Corint. 5, 18, 21. — He has bruised the serpent's head, 
after having, during his suffering, bruised his heel: „that 
through death he might destroy him, that had the power of 
death, that is the devil." 

363. Now the fact is, that to be subject to the law, to 
become flesh, to cleanse with blood, to be made sin, to be 
pierced by the serpent, and &ially to die — are properties 
which can be attributed not to the divine, but to the human nature. 
Which shews, that the divine nature of the Lord Jesus has 
performed all these works in conjunction with the human na- 
ture. 

864. As a third way of expressing the same fact it must 
be considered, if it is said: „thal the Godhead has communica- 
ted his properties to the human nature. Of such properties 
four are especially tp be mentioned : 

a. Omnipotence, which belongs to God alone, as has been 
shewn §. 56. That this attribute had been communicated to 
the human nature which Christ took upon him, can be suffi- 
ciently proved: 

N- From m,any testimonies from the word of God. — • The 
prophet Daniel beholds in the Spirit, the Son of God seated 
on the right hand of God, and describes his visions in the fol- 
lowing terms : „/ saw in the night visions, and behold, one like 
the Son of man come with the clouds of heaven, and come to 
the ancient of days, and they brought him, near before him. And 
there was given him , dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that 
all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his domi- 
nion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and 
his kingdom that which shall riot be destroyed ;" Daniel 7, 13, 
14. — In the same way king David speaks in the 8 Pslm. 
6. ff: Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels; thou 
hast put all things under his feet : all sheep and oxen , and the 
beasts of the field; the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea, 
and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." This 
latter circumstance is more fully explained in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews 2, 8. where it is said : „In that, he has put all things in 
subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. 
And the Lord Jesus Christ testifies accordingly: ^All things 
are delivered unto me of my Father,"- Matth. 11, 27: Jhe Father 
loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his handy": John. 
3. 35 ; „aH power is given unto me iri heaven and earth,"- Matth. 
28, 18. And the apostle Paul tells us: though he (Christ), was 
orucified through weakness , yet he liveth by the power of God, 
2 Cor. 13, 4 ; — (God) set him (Christ) at his own right hand 
in the heavenly, places, far above all principality, and power and 
might, and dominion, and every thing that is nam,ed,- not only in 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 105 

this world, but also in the world to come: and hath fui all things 
under his feet, and gave him to he the head over all things to 
the church,'-'- Ephes. 1, 20. 21. 22. — Now all that which is 
spoken of as having been given to the Son of God during his 
sojourning on earth, cannot be said to have been bestowed 
on his divine, but on his human naJbme; and if therefore the 
Lord, Jesus Christ had received according to his human na- 
ture all power and might, it follows that he has communica- 
ted to his human nature the divine property of omnipotence. 

365. 3- From, his works, in the accomplishment of which 
the human nature cannot be imagined to have been inactive. 
Thus for instance, we read of his having raised the dead by 
his voice, Mark. 5, 41; Luk. 7, 14; John. 11, 43,- or by the 
laying on of his hands, Matth. 8, 3; Mark. 6, 5; — of his 
having performefl' a miracle, inasmuch as from his body pro- 
ceeded tne divine power, by which the sick women was hea- 
led, Mark. 5, 30. — Especially it is to be mentioned, that to 
him has been committed the power to judge mankind, because, 
as he himself expresses it , „ne is the Son of man," John, b, 
27. For which judgment divine Omnipotence must be admitted 
to be indispensable; inasmuch as without the same neither all 
men could Ibe brought before the judgment seat, nor the sen- 
tences put into execution. Which proves that to him, as the 
Son of man, or to his human iiature, divine power has been 
committed. 

366. /?. Omniscience. This also is a divine attribute, and 
has been communicated to the human nature of the Lord Je- 
sus : for ' 

aa. This is expressly taught in Scripture: „In whom (Christ) 
are hid all the treasv/res of wisdom and knowledge,'-^ Colos. 2, 
3. - And Isaias prophesies, 11, 2: „the spirit of the Lord 
shall rest upon him , the spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of 
the fear of the Lord;" — l^w the Lord Jesus hat been gif- 
ted with the Holy Spirit not „8everally as it has been divided 
to every man," 1 Cor. li, 11; but „above Ws fellows;" Pslm. 
45, 7. and not „by measure," John. 3, 34. This proves that 
wisdom, understanding and divine knowledge, have been given 
to Christ without measure ; and that he accordingly did possess 
every knowledge, just as the spirit „searcheth all things, yea 
the deep things of God," 1 Cor. 2, 20. 

\367i bb. Omniscience has been requisite for the accomplish- 
ment of the office of Christ. To him nas been, given to sit in 
judgment over mankind, John. 5, 27 ; in which judgment every 
idle word is to be accounted for, Matth. 1^, 36; the secrets 
of man are to be judged, by him, Kom. 2, 2. 16; the hidden 



106 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

things of darkness are to be brought to light, and the coun- 
sels of the heart made manifest, 1 Cor, 4, 5. And it is evi- 
dent that, whosoever is to accomplish such a work must be 
possessed of divine omniscience regarding every word, work 
every hidden thing, all the secret counsels of the heart; which 
omniscience, Christ as man must have been possessed of. 

368. Y- Omniscience, which is also an attribute of God 
(§. 58.) That the man Christ has been gifted with this pro- 
perty appears from the fact. 

aa. That it must be looked upon as a necessary conse- 
quence of the personal union; „the word became flesh" (John. 
1, 14.) J -^ „in him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bo- 
dily," Coloss. 2, 9. From which we conclude that, since the 
Word, or the Son of God has become flesh he can dwell no 
Avhere his human nature is also, and that therefore his human 
nature must consequently be omnipresent. If in the human 
nature of Christ there dwelleth the fiilness of the Godhead 
bodily, then his human nature' cannot be said to be only on 
one place, for if it were otherwise , this could not be the case. 

369. bb. The scriptures teach the omnipresence of the hu- 
man nature oj Christ: „ Where two or three are gathered to- 
gether in my name, there I am in the midst of them," Msitth. 
18, 20 ; — „I am with you alway, • even unto the end of the 
world, ibid. 28, 20; — ("God) „gave him to be the head over 
all things to the church, which is the body, the fulness of him, 
that filleth all in all;" Ephes. 1, 22. 23; — „he that descen- 
ded is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, 
that he might _^Z? all things," ibid. 4,^10. 

370. cc. The omnipresence cf the human nature of Christ 
has been requisite for the accomplishment of his worJo. He works, 
by signs and wonders, with his apostles, Mrk. 16, 20; he has 
gjven to his church Apostles,. Prophets, EvangeUsts, Pastors 
and Teachers, Ephes. 4, 11; he rules in the midst of his ene- 
mies, Pslm. 60, 2 ; he walks in the midst of the seven cand- 
lesticks, that is, among his people> JRev. 1, 13. — The works 
of Providence which Christ has wrought for the benefit of his 
people have reference more especially to his ascension, and ac- 
cordingly to his human nature;, and we are not able to say 
what sort of government or providence there would be; if Christ's 
human, nature had not ascended into heaven- 

371. dd. -His frequent appearances, after his ascension shew 
that he can be present at once in heaven, and on earth, just as he 
pleases^ and that he therefore is not to be met in one place 
only and not in the other, but is to be found evesy where. 
Whosoever reveales himself, cannot any more be said to be 
absent, but present. From which we' conclude that as Christ 



Chap. VV. Of the Person of Christ. 107 

has revealed himself in his bodily shape on earth, he is not 
removed from, but every where present upon the same. 

372. Such appearances were : his having been seen by 
Stephen, who, when standing before the council at Jerusalem, 
„8aw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand 
of God," Act. 7, 55. He has revealed himself to Paul at the 
moment of his conversion , by a flash of lightning, and with 
a human voice, Acts 22, 14, exclaiming; „Saul, Saul, why 
persecutest thou me? Acts 9, 4; and v. 5: he says in an ans- 
wer to Paul's inquiry: „I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: 
it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks ;•' and v. 6 : „ari8e 
and go into the city, and rt shall be told thee what thou, must 
do." — Christ has appeared to Ananias in a trance, comman- 
ding him to baptize Saul, etc. Act. 9, 10; he has appeared to 
Paul at Corinth, ^ct 18, 9. „Then spake the Lord to Pavd in 
the night by a vision : Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not 
thy peace." — Chist has again appeared to Paul when the latter 
was a captive at Jerusalem ; „Ana the night following the Lord 
stood by him and said. Be of good cheer, Paul : for as thou 
hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear wittness 
also at Rome." — He has finally appeared to John walking 
between the golden candlesticks: „I saw seven golden cand- 
lesticks : and in the midst of the seven candlesticks , one like 
unto the Son of man." Revel. 1, 12. 13. These appearances 
evidently prove Christ to be every where present in his hu- 
man body ; for that he in his human nature is present in hea- 
ven will not be doubted, and if he is, as we have seen, pre- 
sent in heaven and earth at one and the same time, it folfows 
that to his human nature must have been given divine proper- 
ties, seeing that other wise this could not be the case. 

373. §. The honour which is due to none but to God. All 
men are bound to adore the Lord Jesus also according to his 
human nature, and to pay him divine honours. Of this how- 
ever we intend to speak more particularly whe we treat of 
the state of Christ's exaltation. 

374. O'- Ihe two states of humiliaMon and of esoaltation; 
of which Scriptures speaks in the following terms ^^ „Now that 
he ascended, what is it but that he descended first into the low- 
er parts of the earth? £phe&. 4, 9; — „he humbled himself 
and became obedient unto deaths even the death of the cross, 
wherefore God also hath highly easalted him" etc. 

375. Christ's state of humiliation comprehends : 

a. His becoming man, or his conception, in consequence of 
which the Son of God has taken upon himself our nature, 
body and soul, yet without sin ; this has come to pass, not 
in consequence of an union of man and wife (for according 



108 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

to his human nature he is without a father, Heb. 7, 3.), but 
by the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary, a chaste and pure 
vu-gm, who has been pregnant with this her fruit for the space 
of nine months,- to which she afterwards gave birth. 

376. b. His birth The same has taken place at Bethle- 
hem, in accordance with the prophecy of Micha 5, 1. and by 
it the Lord Jesus has actually entered upon his state of hu- 
miliation. For he came into the world in a stable, was laid in 
a crib, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, Luk. 2, 7. 

377. c. His childhood and his youth. Of which little else 
is known, but that the wise men came from the east to wor- 
ship him, Matth. 2, 11; — that he had to flee to Egypt from 
the wrath of Herod, Matth. 2, 14. where he had to remain 
until the death of the latter (ibid. v. 20); that he afterwards 
returned from Egypt (v. 23), and had resided at Nazareth 
until the time Avhen he entered upon his ministerial office, 
Matth. 4, 13; Luk. 2, 51; 3, 16; but that, in the meanwhile 
he had been visiting Jerusalem several times for the purpose 
of celebrating the solemn feasts, and that he had, in his twelfth 
year a controversy, with the doctors in the temple, Luk. 2. 
46. 

378. d. His ministerial o_ffice; in which he had been en- 
gaged for something more than three years , preaching the 
Gospel of the grace of God, and by miracles proving himself 
to be the Messiah, which God had promised unto the fathers. 
During this period he lived in a state of great poverty, Matth. 
8, 20; John 8, 6, and had to experience great hatred, perse- 
cution and malice, on the part of his kindred nation. 

379. e. His suffering and his death, during which he has 
been, in accordance with mnny prophecies, delivered unto his 
enemie's by the treachery of one of his disciples, Pslm.41, 10; 
Zachar. 11, 12. 13; left by others; Zach. 13, 7; mocked, bea- 
ten and despised by his adversaries, Isa. 50, 6; Pslm. 69, 9; 
nailed to the cross, Pslm. 22, 17; and this between two male- 
factors, Isa. 53, 10; fed by gall and vinegar, Pslm. 69, 23; 
finally killed, Isa 23, 8; Zach. 13, 6; and buried, Isa. 53, 9; 
all which is plainly stated in the Gospels., In all those oc- 
currences he has been like every other man; he has taken 
upon jhim the office of a servant, not without sometimes ma- 
mfesting his majesty and exaUation, of which he usually di- 
vested himself, for without such usual testimones he could not 
have redeemed mankind, by his ignominy, sufFering and death 
for the which he had come into the world. 

380. Christ's state of exaUcHion comprehends: 

a. His descending into hell. After having been made alive 
again, Christ descended into that region, in which the souls 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 109 

of the condemned are preserved unto judgement, shewed him- 
self there, as the conqueror of death and hell to him who 
has the power of death that is the devil, Heb. 2, 14 ; as the 
plague of death and the destruction of the grave, Hos. 13, 14; 
and openly made a triumph of them, Coloss. 2, 15: „having 
spoiled principalities and power g, he made a shew of them openly, 
triumphing over them." That this really constitutes' the- des- 
cension of Christ, can be deduced from the words of St. Pe- 
ter (3,' 18. 19.) where he says : „For Christ alsp hath once suf- 
fered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he mi^t bring us 
to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the 
Spirit : by which also he went and preached unto the Spirits in 
prison , which sometime were disobedient , when once the long 
suffering of God waited in the days of Noah,''' etc. 
' 381. b. His*resurrection from the grave, which took place 
on the third day after "his death, and by which he proved 
himself to have power to take his life again, John 10, 18; by 
which occasion also an angel was seen oy those who watched 
the grave, who had to testify the wonderful resurrection of 
Christ from the dead. 

382. c. His state dwring the forty days; during which pe- 
riod the Lord Jesus had shewn hiniself alive unto his discip- 
les,, held converse with them, coming to them through closed 
doors,, John. 20, 10. He disappeared before their very eyes, 
Luk. 24, 19. thereby proving to have brought a glorified 
body from the grave, Phil. 3, 21. 

383. His ascension; which we fipd related Mrk. 16, 19 ; 
Luk 14, 51 ; Acts. 1, 9. 10. — But that this article of our 
christian faith might be thoroughly understood we have to in- 
quire : What sort of heaven is intended lehen we speak of Chrises 
ascension, and, what is the nature of this ascension. 

384. With regard to the first part of this inquiry, it is to 
be observed, that the term heaven nas in the holy Scriptures 
different significations. It is, for instance, employed to de- 
note the airy space above us, in which the birds take their 
flight, 1. Kings 16, 4 (in the original); Jerem: 9, 10; and 
Genesis 28, 23. as the space, from which the rain descends 
called heaven: ^^And the heaven thai is over thy head shall be 
brass."' — The term heaven signifies also the nigh firmament 
by which the world is surrounded, and into which God has 
set the starry world, and which is called firmament or heav&n. 
Genes. 1, 6. 8. — Again the term heaven is meant to denote 
the blessed state of redeemed souls, and of the holy angels: 
Matth. 18, 10 : ,,In heaven their (the children's) angds do 
always behold the face of my father which is in heaven;" 
2. Cor. 5, 1: „A building of God, an house not made with 



110 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

handsj eternal in the heavens;" LuL 16, 22: Abraham's bo- 
som; Heb. 12, 22. 23: „Mount Sion and the city of the 
living Crod, the heavenly Jerusalem, to the general assembly 
of the church of the firstborn which are written in heaven." 
— It was into such a heaven, that the prophet Elijah has 
been taken up: 2. Kings 2, 11; and into such an heaven St. 
Paul was caught up, and heard unspeakable words, 2. Cor. 
12, 2; 4. -— Mnally the term heaven signifies : God's majesty 
and glory: thus it is called Grod's dwelling place: Pslm. 13, 5; 
God's throne,- Isa. 66, 1; in accordance with which we pray: 
■„Ov/F father who art in heaven^'' Which is not to be under- 
stood as having reference to the visible heavens, as if per- 
chance He did hide himself there; for He is said to fill heaven 
and earth, and to be a*„God at hand and not a for off," 
Jerem. 23, 23. 24; we are told, that „in him we live and 
move and have our being," Acts 17, 27. 28; — but this has 
reference to His glory and the hidden light in which he dwel- 
lethj and which nobody can approach imto, 1. Timot. 6, 16. 
God has dwelt in heaven from the beginning of the world, 
where He also will remain after the dissolution of the created 
heaven, as we read Isa. 57, 15:, „(I) that inhabit gtemiti/"- 
and Pslm. 93, 1. 2: „The world is established, that it cannot 
be moved, thy throne is established of old thou art from 



We thus find distinguished two heavens, a created and 
an uncreated heaven, and Christ being said to have been 
ascended into the heaven, the question arises, which of the 
two heavens is implied in this doctrine. 

385i Christ cannot be said to hatje ascended into the crea- 
ted heavens, in order to dwell there, as he used to do at Caper- 
naum, in his own dwelling, or in that of Lazarus,- John. 12, 
2. 3 : or in that of Simon the leper, Matth. 26, 6 : thus being 
bound to space. For: 

386. a. St. Paul in speaking of Christ's resurrection ex- 
pressly testifies that he ascended „far above all heavens," 
Ephes. 4, 10; thai he is* made higher than the hea,vens, Heb, 
7, 26; ^ — Now he, who has ascended far above all heavens 
cannot be said, to have been tied to space in the created 



387. (3. Even after his ascension the Lord Jesus has ap- 
peared upon earth, and has been seen by some. And as 
Christ has thus proved himself able to be present upon earth, 
afl;er his ascension, and before his final appearance at the 
last judgment, we conclude, that in his ascension his 'human 
body has not ascemded and thereby been enclosed, as it were, 
in the created heavens. This proves that Christ has ascended 



Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. lU 

into the uncreated heaven, namely into the heaven of the 
Majesty and Glory of God; which v^e intend to prove still 
more fiiUy, when we have occasion to speak oi Christ's 
sitting on the right hand of God. 

388. The second head of our inquiry, (§. 383) concerns the 
nature of this ascension. This term also has two different 
significations : 

«• It implies a change of place and space, from the 
lower to the upper regions; thus for instance it is employed 
to express Elijah's ascension into heaven, 2. Kings 2, 11; as 
also the ship's mounting up to the haevens, when God raises 
the stormy winds, Pslnl. 107, 26. 

389. 3. It is used with respect to God himself. On such 
occasions it implies God's withdrawing from the view of 
man after having revealed himself, -^ or God's entering his 
own dwelling, or the hidden light, which no man can approach. 
Thus the scriptures when speaking of God's appeanng unto 
Abraham witn whom He made a covenant, promising unto 
him a son, which appearance or revelation afterwards ceased, 
make use of the following expressions: Genes. 17, 22. -And 
he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abra- 
ham." Which is not be understood as if God had ceased 
altogether to be with Abraham (in the spiritual sense of the 
word) but that He had withdrawn Himself from Abraham's 
outward view, and as it were, entered into his invisible and 
hidden dwelling. To Jacob God promises to multiply his 
seed: Genes. 35, 10 ff.; after which, this conversation being 
at an end, the historian adds 5, 13: „And God went up from 
him in the place, where he talketh with himJ" 

390. With reference to the last mentioned signification, 
God's descendirig , is also taken notice of, when it pleased Him 
to make Hirtiself known by means of a special revelation, or 
some mighty work. Genes. 11, 7. God speaks: „Go to, let 
us go down, and there confound their language;" Exod. 19, 
18: „And the mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, be- 
cause the Lord descended upon it;" Pslm. 18, 9: he bowed 
the heavens also and came down.'-'' 

But this descension is not to be understood to imply that 
God had formerly not been present at such places. It means 
nothing more than that God, on such occasion had made 
known His presence either by putting on visible shape, or by 
performing some wonderful work, which is not the case at 
all timeSr From this also we may learn how to understand 
the term ascension, when it is applied to Gqd; namely that it 
means nothing else, but his ceasing to be seen by the human 



112 Chap. XV. Of the Person of Christ. 

eye, or abstaining from testifying his presence by some 
mighty deed. 

391. If we apply this explanation to the doctrine concer- 
ning the ascension of Christ, it is to be observed, that the 
term ascension is here employed in the two just mentioned 
significations. — In the . first place his ascension refers to 
space,' for we are told that the Lord was taken up, and that 
a cloud received him out of their (the disciples) sight, Acts 1, 9. 

392. Christ's ascension implies, secondly, an enteringHnto the 
hidden glories of God, so that he doth not any more now make 
known his presence to the human eye in bodUy shape, or by 
wondrous works. For that the Son of God is in reality, ac- 
cording to his humanity, present every where, has been pro- 
ved already. He has therefore not been taken up henceforth 
not to be visible any more on earth, but only to enter into 
his glory; for such he teaches himself: Luk. 24, 26: „bught 
not Christ to have suflFered such things, and to enter upon 
his glory?" and he himself designates John. 20, If., his as- 
cension, as a going up to his Father: „I ascend unto ray 
father and your father, and to my God and your God." 
Thus we have the connexion between the doctrine of Christ's 
ascension, and his sitting at the right hand of God. For as 
this sitting to te right hand of God implies the full exercise 
of dominion which the human nature of me Lord Jesus Christ 
is possessed of, it follows, that Christ's ascension has been an 
entering upon this exercise of dominion. 

393. The substance of this article of faith, may be sum- 
med up under the following heads. The Lord Jesus has by 
the ascension: 

1. Entered upon his hidden glory, which he had in the 
presence of his Father ere the world was John. 17, 5. 

2. His visible presence has been withdrawn from us, 
because he has, by this act, entered upon the invisible glory 
of God. 

3. The invisible presence of Christ's human nature upon 
this earth can nevertheless not be said to have ceased, as little 
as it can be said of God, that, after having gone up before 
the eyes of Abraham, his presence had then ceased upon earth. 
(389.) 

394. (cf. 380.) e. Christ's being seated on right liand of 
God, consitutes also part of Christ's exaltation. This fact is 
especially mentioned by Mark 16, 19 : „He (the Lord)' was 
received up into heaven, and sat on the right- hand of God." 
— It now remains for us to consider more particularly the 
two terms, viz: to sit, and: right hand of God; inasmuch as on 



Chap. XV. Christ sitting at the right hand of God. 113 

a light understanding of the same very much depends a right 
view of this whole treatise. 

395. The right hand of God; this is not meant to imply 
an arm of flesh, as if God had hands, as is the case with 
men. For God is a spirit, John. 4, 24 ; but a spirit hath no 
flesh and bones, Luk. 24, 39. And the holy scriptures, when 
speaking of God in a figure, that for instance, ,,nis eyes be- 
hold the doings of men,^' and „that his ears are attentive unto 
our prayers," do not intend by this to signify any bodily mem- 
bers ; but by His eyes we are tu understand His omniscience, 
whilst by His ears the wiUingness is intended to be denoted, 
with which He listens to the prayers of the faithful. — In the 
same wa>y, the terms: His hand or Hia right hand are employed to 
denote God's power and Omnipotence, of which a great many in- 
stances occur ifi scripture; thus we read Exod. 15, 6: ,,Thy 
right hand O Lord, is become glorious in power; thy right 
hand, O Lord hath dashed in pieces the enemy;" — Pslm. 
77, 11 : „I will remember the years of the right hand of the 
most high;" — Pslm. 68, 16: „the right hand of the Lord is 
exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly." — And 
likewise God himself says, Isa. 48, 13 : „Mine hand also hath 
laid the foundation of*the earth, and my right hand spanned 
the heavens." These passages sufficiently prove that by the 
term: right hand, the divine Omnipotence is intended, by 
which all these things have been wrought, for which reason 
we also find this right band described as „me arm of his strength," 
Isa. 48, 13. 

396. By the expression: right hand, an impression of 
God's Glory' aind Majesty is also intended to be conveyed. It 
is therefore God's right hand on which Christ sat down, de-' 
noted, Luk. 12, „the right hand of the power of God;'' 
Matth. 26, 64: „the right hand of power;" Hebr. 1, 3: „tlie 
right hand of the Majesty;"- Matth. 19, 28: „the throne of his 
glory." , 

397. The second term we had to consider, referred to the 
sitting dawn. This implies, first a position of the body and 
its members; like as Abraham sat on the entrance of his tent, 
Genes. 18, 1, or as the blind Bartimaus sat on the road side 
near Jericho begging ahns, Luk. 18, 35. But it will be evi- 
dent to every thinking man, that no such position can be im- 

Jlied in the present instance, when it is considered that the 
iord Jesus, after having sat down on the right hand of God, 
has appeared upon this earth, Kevel. 1, 13; and when we 
read the words of Stephen : „Behold I see the heavens ope- 
ned, and the Son of men standing on the right hand of God." 

398. The term to sit means also, in the language of Scrip- 

8 



114 Chap. XV. Christ sitting at the right hand of God. 

ture: to govern, thereby more especially referring to one's 
sitting upon the throne, and thus being invested with the go- 
vernement. In this sense scripture applies this word, Pslm. 
81, 11 : „the Lord hath sworn in truth unto David .... Of 
tlie fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne;" which 
means that his children's children were to succeed him upon his 
throne and governement. 2 Thess. 2, 4, we read: „he (the 
man of sin) sitteth in the temple of God," i. e. he governs 
over the church and the people • of God. Rev. 17, 1 : „the 
great whore that sitteth upon many waters," meaning thereby 
that she governs many nations. 

399. In the same sense it is also said of God himself 
that he sits: Pslm. 47, 8: „God reigneth over the heathen: 
God silteth upon the throne of his holiness ; Pslm. 99, 1 : „the 
Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the 
Cherubims." 

400. Thus we find, that we are to understand Christ's 
sitting at the right hand of God, as intending his governing 
the world, to the exercise of which governement we consider 
him fully entitled, for the following reasons: 

N- because the term : to sit is otherwise explained to mean 
to govern: Pslm. 110, 1. 2: y,Sit thou %t my right hand, until 
I make thine enemies thy footstool; the Lord shall send the rod 
of thy strength Out of 2^on; rule thou in the midst of thine' 
enemies."' This same passage is quoted by the apostle : 1. Cor. 
15, 25: „For he must reign till all his enemies" etc. The 
same act therefore which the Psalmist calls a sittings, the 
Apostle denotes as a reigning. In the same way at. Peter 
explains the same term: Acts. 2, 34 fF.: „David is not ascen- 
ded into the heavens: but he saith himself, the Lord said 
unto my Lord, Sit thou, on my right hand" etc There- 
fore let aU the house of Israel know assuredly; that God hath 
ma,de that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord 
and Christ;" — 1. Peter 3, 22: „Who (Christ) is §one into 
heaven, .... angels and authorities and powers being made 
subject unto him." 

401. To sit on the right hand of God, means therefore 
nothing else than to govern and direct every thing that exists 
out of divine Omnipotence, power, divine Majesty and glory. 

402. 3- This will be stfll more evidenced, when we con- 
sider that if one , is said to sit upon the divine throne , he 
must be also considered as governing with power and majesty. 
Christ's sitting on the right hand of God, is therefore nothing 
else but an almighty and divine governing of all matter, be- 
cause God's sittmg upon the throne implies just this and 
nothing else,, Heb. 12, 2: „Who (Christ) endured the shame 



Chap. XV. Christ sitting at the right hand of God. U5 

.... and is set down at l]ie right hand of God; Kevel. 3, 21: 
,,To him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my 
throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my fa- 
ther in his throne;" ibid 7, 17: ■„For the Lamb which is in 
the midst of the throne shall feed them." 

403. The whole sum and substance therefore, of this ar- 
ticle concerning Christ's sitting at the right hand of God 
means, that Christ, having entered again upon his glory has 
assumed the govemement over all creatures, which he effects 
with divine power, Omnipotence, Glory and Majesty. 

404. The last mentioned attributes are without exception 
ascribed to Christ's human nature. For it was alone with 
reference to his human nature, that he stood in need and that 
he was capabk, of being exalted, which was not the casje 
with his divine nature seeing that the latter is , in itself the 
Glory, the Majesty, power and Omnipotence of God the Fa- 
ther, with whom it is of one and the same substance. 

405. (cf. §. 380) Finally there is to be included in Christ's 
state of exaltation, his coming to the fmal judgement. But as 
this latter forms part, not only of Christ's state of exaltation, 
but also of his kmgly office, this subject will better be treated 
in connexion with me latter, §. 523. 



->••!»»H««■^ft^S(|»lW^ 



116 



Chapter XVI. 



In order completly to bring about nl\ that, which the human race re- 
quired for the insurance of their soul's salvation , the Son of God has espe- 
cially satisfied the demands of divine justice, and thereby cffectHally re- 
conciled them unto God. 



406. The Lord Jesus, that he might accomplish his work, 
had to perform three different acts viz: 

A. To reconeile men to God, 

B. to acquaint them with this reconciliation and to bring 
them to God, and 

C. to govern them, i. e. to lead them by his commands, 
to protect them from their enemies, to adjudge and reward to 
every man good or evil according to his deserts. To him 
therefore belong three different offices, viz : the office of High 
priest or recondlation; the office of prophet or teacher; and the 
office of governor Or Mng. 

In the Chapter before us we intend to treat of the first 
of the above mentioned three offices. 

407. The office of high priest and reconciliator. — Although 
we have stated formerly (§. 276) that all men are bound to 
yield unlimited obedience to God their creator, yet it is to 
be rememberd that there is no man upon earth, who, afier 
the fall of the first parent , is able to pay the debt of his 
guilt and to render this obediertce, since there is none that 
doeth good, and none that did not commit sin. But God's 
justice nevertheless requires the discharge of this duty, nor can 
that justice be satisfied by any thing short of it. It was for 
this reason that Christ has been induced fully to discharge 
this debt on our behalf, in order that no man might, by his 
guilt, be hindered from participating his intended benefits. 

408. Christ has therefore freed us from this guilt, with 
which we were burdered in the face of the divine judgement, 
by his holy, spotless and godly life. This is testified by 
Christ himself Matth. 5, 17: ,,Think not that I am come to 
destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy bu^ 
to fuyil;" Galat. 4, 4. 5 : tiBut when the fulness of the iknfi. 
was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made 
under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, thai, we 
might receive the adoption of sons;'-' Rom. 5, 18. 19: „There- 
fore as by the offence of one, judgement came upon all men to 



Chap. XVI. Of .Christ's satisfaction. 117 

condemnation', even so by the righteoumess of one the free gift 
came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one 
man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience 
of one shall many be made righteous.^'' — 

409. Now all men h^ve sinned and divine justice must 
either subject them to eternal punishment, or exact from them 
complete satifaction. But in this emergency no man knew 
any means of helping himself or others, as we read Pslm. 49, 
7. 8 : „None . . . can by any means redeem his brother , nor 
give God a ransom for Mm, for Hie redemption of their soul is 
precious, and it ceaseth (lasts) for ever.'-'- Here again the Lord 
Jesus has graciously interposed, and mediated between God 
and men, inasmuch as by his sufferings and death he has 
satified the demands which God had to made upon guilty 
men. For he* has taken upon himself the punishment of our 
sins, in order that mankind might be reconciled to the hea- 
venly Father, and that divine justice might have no claim, 
upon them on account of their sin. 

410. But that this point might be fully understood, we 
must attend to the three following inquiries, viz. 

I. Wliether the Son of God has, by his suffering and death 

satisfied divine justice in behalf of the sins of mankind, 
II. Whether this satisfaction was brought about for the sins 

of all mankind, and 
III. Whether such satisfaction was able to remove every guilt 
and every sin. 

411. I. The first assertion, Whether the Son ofGodbt/ his 
suffering and death has satisfied the demands divine justice in behalf 
of the sins of mankind, can be proved from the nature of those 
passages of Scripture in which this subject is referred to. There 
are, more especially, four different evils mentioned in scripture, 
of which men have been redeemed by Christ, viz: 

1. from sin, 

2. from the wrath of God, 

3. from the curse of the law, and 

4. Jrom devil and hell.' 

412. 1. Christ has redeemed us from sin, because 

a. he has delivered himself up for the very purpose that ' he 
might redeem us from sin; Rom. 4, 25: „ Who' (Christ) was 
delivered for our offences and was raised for our justification; 
Galat. 1, 4: Who (Christ) gave himself for our sins." Titus 2, 
14: „Who (Christ) gave himself for us, that he might redeem 
us from all iniquity." 

413. b. Because he has borne our sins, Isa. 53, 14 : Surely 
he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;^'- v. 6; „the 
Lord hath laid upon him the iniquities of us all;" John. 1, 29: 



118 Chap. XVI. Of Christ's satisfaction. 

„Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the 
world." 2 Cor. 5, 21 : „For he hath made him to be sin for 
lis, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteous- 
ness of God in him." — In this respect we find a beautiful 
type of the Lord Jesus in the institution of scape goat (of 
the old Testament dispensation). For the highpriest was com- 
manded to put his hand upon this scape^goat whilst he con- 
fessed all the transgressions of the congregation; all trans- 
gression and every sm having thus been laid upon this goat, the 
latter was led out by a man into the wilderness; so that the- 
reby, as it were, the sins of the people were carried away by 
the goat into the wilderness, there to be put an end to, along 
with the animal, Levit. 3, 16. 20. ff. 

414. c. Because he has taken iwon himself and suffered 
the punishment our sins had merited. Isa. 53, 5 : „He was woun- 
ded for our transgressions he was bruised for our iniquities, 
the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stri- 
pes we were healed." This latter prophecy is quoted by St. 
Peter, Epist. 2, 24, and thus explained: „Who (Christ) his 
ownself bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being 
dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes 
ye were healed." 

415. d. In that lie has sanctified and purified us by his blood. 
1 John, 1, 7: „1l:he blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God 
cleanseth us from all sin." Heb. 13, 12: „Wherefore Jesus 
also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suf- 
fered without the gate." 

416. In that Tie has died for our sins. 1 Cor. 15, 3: 
„Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;" Heb. 
9, 15: „For this cause he is the mediator of the new testa- 
ment, that by means of death, for the redemption of the trans- 
gressions .... they which are called might receive the pro- 
mise of eternal inheritance." 

417. From all which we must conclude, that he, who is 
giving himself for the sins of others carrying their sins on 
his own body, who bears the punishment which others deser- 
ved and dying for the sins of others, sanctifies them by his 
blood, — that such an individual is able to satisfy the de- 
mands, which divine justice may have upon the sins of others. 
Now this has been the case, in the fullest sense of the word, 
with the Lord Jesus, who can therefore be said with the 
fullest right to have satisfied divine judgement on behalf of 
our sins. 

412. 2. Christ has also redeemed us from the wrath of God 
and from his judgement; this has been accomplished : 
a. by his reconciling God unto men,' for: 



Chap. XVI. Of Christ's satisfaction. 119 

«, he has offered himself as a sacrifice of his body, for 
a sweet smelling savour, Ephes. 5, 2 : „Christ also hatli loved 
us, and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to 
God, for a sweet smelling savour;" 

p. He has become the propitiation for our sins, 1 John. 
2, 2 : „He (Christ) is the propitiation for our sins : and not 
for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." ibid. 
9, 10: „Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he 
loved us, and sent his Son to be the prmitiation for our sins.'- 

y. He has made peace by his blooa, between God and 
men. Coloss. 1, 19, 20: „Por- it pleased God .... by him 
to reconcile all things unto himself." 

8. He has reconciled us by his death, Kom. 5, 10: „When 
we were enemies, we were reconciled by the death of his Son;" 
Coloss. 1, 21. 2f : „Now hath he reconciled you in the body of 
his flesh, through death, to present you holy and unblameable 
and unreproveable in his sight." 

e. He has procured for us grace by his blood, Rom. 3, 
25 : „God hath set forth (Christ) to be a propitiation through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remis- 
si <n of sins that are past." 

^_. He has given himself unto God as a propitiation for 
our sins, 1 Cor. 5, 7 : „Christ our passover is aacrified for ma" 
For like as in times of old, God graciously accepted of sacri- 
fices for sins, and (as a type) forgave the latter, for the sake 
of the first, Levit. 4, 21. 26. 31. 35. even so has our heavenly 
Father accepted the sacrifice of his beloved Son, and for his 
sake pardoned our sins. 

fj. By his blood he has acquired for us forgiveness of sins. 
Matth. 26, 28: „This is ,my blood of the new testament, which 
is shed for many for the remission of sins." 

419. b. By his saving^ us from the wrath of God inasmuch 
as he has not only given himself as a propitiation for all, 1 
Tim. 2, 6. but also has redeemed us from tne wrath to come, 
1 Thess. 1, 10., by the sacrifice of his own life, Matth. 20, 28 : 
„the Son of man came not to be ministered mito, but to minister 
and to give his life a ransom for many;" and by the shedding 
of his blood, „In whom (Christ) we have the' redemption through 
his blood, the forgiveness of sin. Ephes. 1, 7. Coloss. 1. 14. 

420. c. By his purchasing us from divine judgement and 
making ourselves his own; Acts. 20, 28; „the church of God 
which he has purchased by his oion blood; 1 Pet. 1, 18. 19 : „ye 
were not redeemed with "corruptible things, but with the pre- 
cious blood of Christ;" Eevel. 5, 9: „Thou (the Lamb) hast 
redeemed us to God by thy blood.'' 1 Cor. 6, 20 : „ye are bought 
with a price." 



120 Chap. XVI. Of Christ's satisfaction. 

421. d. By his jxistifying us by his blood. Every one who 
is justified, is, by this means, delivered from wrath and from 
judgement. If therefore the Lord Jesus has justified us by his 
blood, Eom. 5, 9. than has he, of course, by his blood deli- 
vered us from wrath and divine judgement. 

422. If therefore we read of one, who has given himself 
unto God as a propitiation for the sins of mankmd, who has 
made peace between them and God; who, by his death, has 
reconciled God, and brought about grace by his blood ; who has 
acquired forgiveness of sins by his blood, given his life for 
the salvation of men, purchasing them by his blood fi-om di- 
vine judgeinent, and justified them by his blood, then we may 
be sure of his having redeemed mankind from the wrath of 
God, by his himself making satisfaction for their sins. Now 
Christ has accomplished all the abovementioned facts ; and has 
thereby redeemed mankind from the wrath of God, by mrking 
satisfaction for their sins. 

423. 3. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law; 
he has accomplished this, in that he subjected himself unto the 
law, Galat. 13, 13 ff. „Christ hath redeemed us from the curse 
of the law being made a curse for us , for it is wrjtten : cursed 
is every one that hangeth on a tree, that the blessing of rA.b- 
raham might come on the gentiles through Jesus Christ." 

424. Which leads us to the conclusion that, if one is re- 
deeming others from the curse of the law, so that he himself 
becomes a curse for them, he must necessarily by this act 
satisfy the demands, the judge has upon the guilt of trans- 
gressors. Now the Lord Jesus has redeemed us from the 
curse of the law in that he himself has become a curse for 
MS, and by this satisfied God the Father in behalf of our sins 
and paid our dues. 

425. 4. Christ has, finally, redeemed us from devil and hell. 
This he has done by his death, Heb. 2, 14: „that trough 
death he might destroy the power of death, that is the devil." 
The devil is , (as is the case with some men in an earthly 
court of justice) the executor of the sentences of divine jus- 
tice. He carries out the punishment, which has been pro- 
nounced over the sinner ; but as soon as he looses-lhis his power he 
has no more dealings with divine judgement. For as long 
as the sinner's sentence is to be carried out, as long must the 
devil retain his power over him. But if one, by his death suc- 
ceeded in taking from the devil his power jis executor of the 
sentences of divine judgment, he would gain asmuch for the 
sinner, that the sentences could henceforth not any more be 
executed. This could only be done by his dying in the place 
of the sinner, that thereby divine judgement might be satis- 



Chap. XVI. Of Christ's satisfaction. 121 

fled. And as the Lord Jesus by his death has redeemed us 
from the power of Satan, it follows that by this death he has, 
for our sake, satisfied divine justice. 

426. n. The second inquiry : W hether this satisfaction has 
'been brcmght about for all mankind, is also to be answered in 

the affirmative, because such we are frequently taught in scrip- 
ture; for 

427. a. God has promised His Son to be the Saviour of all 
mankind. Genes 3, 15: „It (the seed) of the women shall bruise 
thy (the serpent's) heel ;" ibid. 22, 18 : „And in thy seed shall 
all nations of the earth be blessed." These promises concern 
all nations of the earth, and no man upon earth can therefore 
be said to be excluded from them. It is this the first promise 
which has been given unto Adam, not for his own benefit 
only, but also fdr that of the whole human race, which had 
sinned in Adam. 

428. b. God has given 'his Son for the Salvation and 
to the benefit of all mankind, John. 3, 17. God sent not his 
Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world 
through him might be saved; 1 John, 4, 14: „We have seen 
and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour 
of the world;''' Rom. 8, 32: „He spared not his own Son, but 
delivered him up for us all;" Galat, 4, 4 : „God sent forth his 
Son, made of a woman made under the law." But all men, 
without exception are under the law, as we are read Eom. 3, 19: 
„What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are 
under the law, that every mouth might be stopped, and all the 
world become guilty before Gud." This proves that the Son 
of God has been sent to all men; Titus 2, 11: „The m-ace 
of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all jwct; Luk. 
2, 10: ,,I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall 
be to all people."- 

429. c. Upon the Lord Jesus have been laid all our sins. 
Isa. 53, 6: „He was wounded for our transgressions, he was 
bruised for our iniquMes;" John. 1, 29: „Behold the Lamb of 
God, which taketh away the sins of the world." 

430. d. Because the Lord Jesus has died for all men. 2 
Cor. 5, 14. 15 : „We thus judge, that if one died for all, then 
were all dead ; and that he died for all ate. Heb. 2^ 9 : „he 
(Christ) by the grace of God, should taste death /or every 
men;" Coloss. 1, 19. 20: „For it pleased thfr Father that in 
him should all fulness dwell, . . . by him to reconcile all things 
unto himself, by him whether they be things in earth or things 
in heaven." 

431. e. The Son of God has improved the condition of 
every human creature, even of as many as have been polluted by 



122 Chap. XVI. Of Christ's satisfaction. 

Adam's sin. Matth. 18, 11: „The Son of mam is come to 
save that which is lost;" Rom. 5, 18: „As hy the offence of 
one judgement came upon all men to condemnation, even so 
by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men 
unto justification of life." 1 Cor. 15, 22: „For as in Adam 
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made aliveJ-^ 

432. f. All men are called upon to partake of the benefits 
of the Lord Jems. As many as have been called upon by 
God to enjoy the benefits of the Lord Jesus Christ, for as 
many has the latter made satisfaction; but God is calling all 
men, without exception: Matth, 11, 28: „Come unto me, all 
ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" 
Acts. 17, 30: „Now commandeth God all men every where to 
repent." (Of this more shall be said when we treat on the 
office of prophet and teacher.) 

433. g. The unbelievers are to be punished for the very 
reason, that they would not believe that Christ died for 
them, Mrk. 16, 6: „He that believeth and is baptized shall 
be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned;'^ John. 
16, 8. 9 : „When be (the Holy Ghost) is come he will re- 
prove the world of sin ... . because they believe not on me;'-- 
ibid. 3, 18: y^He that believeth on him {the Son) is not condem- 
ned, but he that believeth not is condemned already , because he 
hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." 
— And what was it , these condemned unbelievers had been 
called upon to believe; — nothing else but what the Apostle 
Paul himself confessed : viz, „the Son of God who loved me, and 
gave himself for me," Galat. 2, 20. Whosoever has no faith in this, 
is condemne4 because of his unbelief Thus, for instance, has Ju- 
das been condemned because of his not believing that Christ has 
given himself lor him ; and Caijjhas also had the same fate 
because of the same unbelief Now God, does not condemn 
anybody because of his not believing any^:hing to be true 
which in reaUty proves not be true at all; which shews it to 
be a truth, that Christ hns given himself for Judas, Caiphas, 
and for all other unbelievers, consequently for all mankind. 

434. h. Even those have been redeemed for by Christ, who are 
eventually lost for all eternity. The human race is cUvided into 
two parts, viz : th» believers, concerning whom there can exist 
no doubt that Christ has died for them, — and the unbelie- 
vers. If the Son of God can be proved to have died also for 
the latter, then it must follow that he has died for all man- 
kind; for there is no human being who does not belong to 
one of the two just mentioned classes. 

That Christ has died also for the unbelievers can be 
proved firom the following testemonies. Rom. 15, 15: „De- 



Chap. XVI. Of Christ's satisfaction. 123 

stroy not him with they meat, for whom Christ died;" 1. Cor. 
8, 11: „through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, 
for whom Christ died;" 2. Peter 2, 1: „False teachers .... 
denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves 
swift destruction;" Heb. 10, 29: „0f how much more 
punishment suppose ye, shall he be thougt worthy, who hath 
trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the 
blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy 
thing." — We are therefore sure, that Christ has died for all 
men, for if it were otherwise, 

i) There would be little or no comfort in the consideration, 
tJiat the Lord Jesus has died but for a few among men. For 
then no man could anyhow be sure that Christ had died for 
him. Whilst, on the other hand, there must always be great 
comfort in the conviction, that Christ, by his death, has redee- 
med all mankind without any exception. We have seen al- 
ready that he has died for all men: I am a man, therefore 
I may rest assured that Christ has died also for me. 

436. HI. We proposed to inquire, thirdly, whether such 
satisfaction was able to remove every guilts. This question also 
is to be answered in the affirmative) and to be supported by the 
following considerations: 

«. Christ has redeemed us from sin, reconciled us unto God 
and acquired for us forgiveness and righteousness. On this head 
it is to be kept in mind, what has been already stated con- 
cerning redemption, reconciliation, forgiveness of sin, and 
justification. We conclude accordingly, that a prisoner, who is 
not entirely freed from all his fetters, is not in state to leave his 
prison; like as a criminal who has treated with his judge 
about a part only of his guilt and transgression , cannot be 
said to have done with- him. The sinner to whom only part 
of his sins have been forgiven, cannot be said to have already 
found entire forgiveness for the same; he cannot be said to be 
justified, who is not free from every sin. If therefore Christ 
is said to have redeemed and reconciled us, and acquired for 
us forgiveness and justification, then we must conclude, that 
he has purified us from every sin. 

437. |3. God forgives every sin to all those upon whom, he 
has mercy. That God's grace removes every sin can be 
proved: Isa. 38, 17: „thou hast cast all my sins behind thy 
back;" Michah 7, 19: „He willl turn again, he will subdue 
our iniquities ; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths 
of the sea." — That such has been done by Christ , can be 
proved Joh. 1, 17: „grace nnd truth came by Jesus Christ;" 
Acts 4, 12: „Neither is there salvation in any other" etc., 
which proves, that every sin, which has been forgiven, has 



124 Chap. XVI. Of Christ's fiatisfaction. 

been atoned for by Christ; and as God is forgiving their sins 
unto all men, we conclude that Christ has atoned for the 
sins of all men. 

438. The scriptures expressly declare, that Christ has taken 
away all sins from us: 1. John. 1, 7: „the blood of Jesus 
Christ cleanseih us from every sin;" John. 1, 29 : „Behold the 
Lamb of God, which taheth away the sins of the world;" 
Zachar. 3, 8. 9: „I will bring forth my servant thfe Branch; 
for behold the stone that I have laid .... saith the Lord 
Zabaoth, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one 
day." 



« 



Cliapter XVIl. 



After satisfaction has been done to divine judgment on behalf of hicn , and 

the latter have, by this means , been reconciled to God , it pleases the Lord 

Jesus to have this work of grace anounced to them by the preaching of 

the Gospel, thus inviting thcra lo be partakers of his mercy. 



439. The Lord Jesus Christ has brought about a recon- 
ciliation between God and sinful men, so that now nothing is 
hindering them from acknowledging and accepting this benefit 
with grateful hearts. In which latter act the Lord Jesus again 
faithfully assists them, in order to lead them to their heavenly ra- 
ther. But for the better understanding of the same, we have 
to inquire: - 

I. In which manner the Lord Jesus,, proceeds in this act, 
and 

II. Which means he employs to bring about the desired 
effect. 

440. Christ is brought near to the sinner: 

a. hy the calling, 

b. by repentance, 

c. by jfustyication, 

d. hy conversion, ^ 

e. by renewitiy, 



Chap. XVII. Of God'8 merciful caUing. 125 

f. hy the new birth, 

g. by the union with Christ. 

441. a. The calling is the first act, by which men are re- 
quested to become partakers of the benefits of Christ; this 
calling we stand in great need of. Suppose a prison being 
filled with prisoners who had all been ransomed; but as long 
as this their redemption is not communicated to them, and 
they requested to leave the prison, their redemption would be 
of no avail to them. Exactly so this great work of mercy, 
by which Christ has delivered us from the pains of hell by 
his blood , would be of no avail, if we had it not anounced to 
us, and if we were not requested to become partakers of the 
benefits connected therewith. 

442. That thi^ might be brought about, the Son of God 
has taken upon him the office of prophet and teacher, in the 
exercise of which he has instructed men of the mercy which 
God intends to bestow upon them. 

Concerning this office four points are to considered viz: 

1. The providential ways in which he leads all men, whereby 
he becomes their teacher, 

2. whai it is that he teaches, 

3. whom he teaches, 

4. to which purpose he teaches and for which reasons. 

443. 1. Christ exercises the office of a teacher, heing the 
insttuclar (If all mankind. This is a truly divine office, which 
the Lord Jesus ascribea to himself, Isa. 48, 17: „/ am the 
Lord thy Ood which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee 
by the way that thou shouldest go."- The same function the 
Lord Jesus applies unto himself when he says Matth. 11, 27 : 
„No man hnoweth the father, save the Son, and he to whom- 
soever the Son will reveal him." 

4A4:. Christ's title to such functions can be proved: 

a. From the predictions of the prophets, Deutr. 18, 15 : „The 
Lord thy God will raise up a prophet from the midst of thee, 
of thy brethern like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; Isai. 
50, 4: „the Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned, 
that I should know to speak a word in season to him that is 
weary;" ibid. 61, 1. 2: „The Spirit of the Lord God is upon 
me; because the Lord hath anbintet me to preach good ti- 
dings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the bro- 
kenneartet, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the op- 
ening of the prison to them that are bound. To proclaim 
the acceptable year of the Lord." 

b. By the voice of his heavenly Father, Matth. 17, 5 : „Be- 
hold a voice out of the cloud, which said: This is my belo- 
ved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him." 



126 Chap. XVn. Of God's merciful calling. 

c. By the miracles by which he supported his preaching, 
so that his hearers were obliged to confess: „This is of a 
truth that prophet, that should come into the world," John. 6, 
14; „a great prophet is risen up amongst us;" and that „God 
hath visited his peoi)le.J' ' 

445. 2. What it is, the Lord Jesus has been teaching. 
The fact is that he taught nothing else but the Gospel, which 
is the merciful message concerning the gracious purposes of 
God, the forgiveness of our sins and eternal salvation, all 
which have their source solely in the grace of God and the 
merits of Christ. 

446. Although it has been proved already, that Christ 
has not abolished the law; yet can he not be called a 
preacher of the law, because he is, in this respect put in 
opposition to Moses; John. 1, 17: „The law has been given 
by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ." This is also 
plainly alluded to in Christ's own teaching, which the Evan- 
gelist Matthew sums up' in the following words, „Repent for 
the kingdom of heaven ts at hand, 4, 17. — And Christ him- 
self advises his disciples to teach that „thus it behoved Christ 
to suffer .... and that remission of sins should be preached 
in his name, among all nations," Luk. 24, 46. 47. — Accor- 
dingly the preaching of the Lord Jesus is an invitation to 
heaven for human kind , to repentance and forgivness of sin ; 
with other words an invitation to avail themselves of all the 
good things which the Lord Jesus has acquired for them by 
his blood and by his death. Which fact we find also re- 
ferred to by Christ in the parable of the royal marriage-feast, 
Matth. 22, 3 and in that of the marriage supper, Luk. 14, 7 . 

447. The Apostles used to characterise their preaching by 
the following sentences; „For I have not shunned to declare 
unto you all the counsel of God^^ Acts. 20, 27; — „For 1 de- 
termined not to know anything unto you, save Jesus Christ and 
him crucified," 1. Cor. 2, 2; — „6od was in Christ, reconci- 
ling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto 
them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did 
beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead be ye recon- 
ciled to God; for he hath made him to be sin for us, who 
knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God 
in him,'''' 2. Cor. 5, 19 ff. — This is the whole substance of 
the message, which the Lord Jesus had intended to lay be- 
fore us, and to propose to us in his capacity as teacher, 

448. 3. Whom he teaches. As the office of reconciliation 
and redemption concerns all mankind it becomes necessary 
hat all men should be instructed concerning it. This consi- 



Chap. XVII. Of God'b merciful .calling. 127 

deration would in itself be sufficient to prove that the call to 
Salvation has gone forth unto all men, without any exception. 
But lest some might be tormented by the painful thought, 
that God might not have called him to partake of his grace, 
and to become an heir of his kingdom, we. will try to prove 
the inexeptionable calling of all mankind, as follows : 

449. a. The Lord Jems calls all men to come to Mm, 
Matth. 11, 28 : „Come unto me all ye that labour and heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest." Now as all men must be 
said to labour and to be heavy laden, it follows that Christ 
has called them all unto him. 

450. b. He has commanded that all men should be called 
and taught. Thus he commands his disciples Matth. 28, 19: 
„Go ye therefore mnd teach all nations"- etc.; Mark. 16, 15: 
.,Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel unto every 
creature," which command his disciples faithfully executed, as 
we read in the same Chapter 5, 20: „they went forth, and 
preached every where." Coloss. 1, 6: „ Which (Gospel) is 
come unto you as it is in all the world, and bringetn forth 
fruit;" V. 23: „Which (Gospel) waspreached to every creatwre 
which is under heaven;" v. 28: „We preach, warning every 
man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may 
present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." And St. Paul 
thus explains the commands which had been given to the 
Apostles by the Lord Jesus, Acts 17, 30 : „Now (God) com- 
mandeth all men everywhere to repent." We thus find that 
no man has been excluded from the merciful preaching of the 
Gflspel, seeing 

451. c. That all such thai do not come to the kingdom df 
Christ, nor avail themselves of the mercies which he has acquir- 
ed for them, are punished, because of their not having listened 
to this call. If God pronounces punishment over one because 
of his not having been obedient to his invitation, then we may 
be sure, that such a one has been called; now such is the 
case: God punishes with hellfire and. condemnation the unbe- 
lievers for the very reason of their not having been obedient 
to his call, which proves that the unbelievers also have surely 
been called by God. 

452. The fact of the unbelievers also haying been called can 
be established by many passages of scripture. Proverb. 1, 
24. if. „Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stret- 
ched out my hand and no man regarded; but ye have set at 
nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof, / also 
will laugh at your calamity : I will mock when your fear Co- 
meth ;" Isa. 65, 2. 5 : „I nave stretched out my hands all the 



128 Chap. XVn. Of God's mercilul calling. 

day long unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way 
that was not good, after their own thoughts; these are smoke 
in my nose, a fire that bumeth all day." 

Such passages are also Isa. 66, 4; Jerem. 7,13S'.; more 
especially the parables, which the Lord Jesus made use of 
for the better elucidation of this subject. We turn to Luk. 
14, 16 fF. and find there, that the Lord of the mansion had 
determined, v. 24, yfhat nbne of those men which had been bid- 
den should taste of his upper," because thy ' had rejected and 
refused his friendly invitation, which refusal caused his indig- 
nation to rise. • — And the Lord Jesus declares expressly, 
John. 3, 18: „fie that belieoeth on him (the Son of God) is 
not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, 
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten 
Son. 

453. 4. To which purpose, and from what reason he lias 
taught. If we look into the word of God, "we find that the 
Lord Jesus has taught mankind from no other reason, but 

a. That they should repent, Matth. 4, 17: „Eepent ye, for 
the kingdom of heaven is at hand;" Act. 17, 30: „Now (God) 
commandeth all men, every where to repent;'^ 

h. That they might get forgiveness of sins, Luk. 24, 47: 
„That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in 
his name among all nations." 

c. That they should be perfected in Christ , Coloss. 1, 28 : 
„We preach warning every man, and teaching every man; 
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesu.'-'- 

d. That he might give them rest, Matth. 11, 28: „Come 
unto me etc. and / will give you rest."" 

e. That they might enjoy the heavenly gifts , Isa. 55 , 1 : 
„Ho, every one, that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he 
that hath no money; come ye buy and eat; ye, come, buy 
wine and milk without money and without price;" Matth. 22, 
4: „I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fathngs 
are killed, and all things are ready, come unto the marriage;" 
Luk. 14, 17: ^Come, for all things are now ready, '■'■ 

f. Thai he might take them under his protection, Matth. 23, 
37 : „How often would I have gathered thy children together, 
even as the hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and 
ye would not." 

454. It has been asserted by some, that besides the abo- 
vementioned, God had still an other reason for calling men, 
which is, that by it to lead them to destruction, or that they might 
fall a victim to their oa^ti impenitence. But this assertion is 
not only against the light of reason, but is also nowhere to 



Chap. XVin. Of repentance. 129 

be found in holy writ. Thus we may rest assured, that our 
God is not desirous of misleading or bringing to destruction 
anybody by pretensions of this nature. 



Chapter XVIII. 

In order that men might in reality come to that salvation, to which they 
have been called by God , they are by Him led to it by means of sincere 
repentance, in consequence of which they are induced, being convicted of, 
and repenting their sins , to take their refuge to Christ , , and by their thus 
confiding in him, acquire mercy and forgiveness of sins. 



455. To insure us of our eternal salvation in His pre- 
sence, God has made ample preparations, in all the procee- 
dings which have been already treated of. It is true that the 
Lord Jesus has delivered us from our sins, reconciled us to 
God, opened unto us heaven and eternal salvation, — even so 
that God has called upon us to partake of his grace and of 
the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. But in to the enjoyment of 
these benefits, we have only then success , if Ave are aided by 
divine power. This aid God bestows upon us; thus raising 
again and upholding sinful men. 

456. But this restoration of man is not accomplished at 
once, but only partly, so that only the beginning of it is made 
in this life. In this respect four different points are to be at- 
tended to, viz: 

1. Man, who requires help, and whose restoration is cal- 
led repentance: 

2. God the Lord, who is either bringing sinful men before 
the judgement seat, or forgiving them their sins, which latter 
is called justification^ or forgiveness of sins; men, who are indu- 
ced to turn away from their evil and sinful life, giving themselves 
with all their might to the service of God; this is called con- 
version, new birth, and renewing, and 

3. Christ, and the fact that men become united with him; 
which is called the engrafting in Christ. But the complete 

9 



130 Chap. XVIII. Of repentance. 

restoration, is only broughit about alter the death, of this body, 
in eternal life and in the kingdom of glory. 

457. The first of these works of mercy is repentance. Con- 
cerning which we have to inquire: 

a. Its nature, 

b. Its necessity, 

e. Of how many parts it consists, 

d. Its source, 

e. Whom among men it might concern, md 

f. Its fruits and consequences. 

458. What is repentancef Repentance means a real ack- 
nowledgment and sincere repentance of the sins of which we 
ieel ourselves guilty, along with the firm assurance that God 
is willing to forgive them for the sake and the merits of his 
beloved Son. 

459. b. The necessity of repentance, can be partly proved 
from the fact that God in so many instances and so frequently 
requests us to repent; partly also from reasons, which God 
himself has pointed out to us in scripture. Such are: that for- 
giveness of sins cannot be expected, unless they are repented 
of, Acts. 5, 31; that by repentance men may recover them- 
selves from the snares of the devil, 2 Timot. 2, 25. 26. and 
from eternal condemnation, 2 Peter 3, 9. Whosoever there- 
fore does not repent cannot expect to find forgiveness of sins, 
remains in the snares of the devil, and is a victim of eternal 
condenmation. Even so is impenitence drawing down the wrath 
uf God upon mankind, Bom. 2, 5: y,After thy hardness and 
impenitent heart treasureth (thou) up unto thyself wrath against the 
Jay of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God." 
Inipenitence makes void God's works of mercy, Eev. 2, 5; 
draws dawn the fierj^ persecution of divine judgement v. 16, 
and great tribulation, v. 21, 22. 

460. Besides the adduced reasons, repentance is also ne- 
cessary 

a. That the preaching of the Gospel might take effect upon 
us. For both John the baptist and the Lord Jesus have com- 
menced their preaching with the following words: ^Repent ye 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'-'- Matth, 3, 2 ; 4, 17 : tms 
provep the kingdom of God, which has been preached by the 
Gospel, to be connected with repentance. Wherever therefore 
there is no repentance, there cannot possibly take place either 
the kingdom of heaven, or the promises connected therewith. 

§. That we may love God. Nobody can serve two masters; 
he must necessarily hate the one and love the other, Matth. 
6, 24. If there is therefore one Avho does not hate sin, but 
on the contrary has a predeliction for it, such a one is the 



Chap. XVm. Of repentance. 131 

servant of ein, John 8, 34. and it is therefore impossible for 
him to serve God. He must hate Him, and do the things 
which he knows to be hateful in His sight. Whosoever on 
the other hand is willing to come to God must love him and 
hate sin, and consequently if any one wishes to come to God, 
such a one must hate sin. 

y. That we might desist from sin. Every one who remai-* 
nes in sin, cannot expect the service, which he renderes unto 
God, to be acceptable un to him. Isa. 1, 15 ; „When ye make 
many prayers, I will not hear: your htinds are full of blood;" 
Pslm. 59, 7 : „let his (the condemned) prayer become sin." 
The kingdom of God is inaccessible to him, and the lake pre- 
pared for him, which burneth with fire and brimstone; Galat. 
5, 21 : „They which do such things (the works of the flesh) 
shall not inherit" the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6. 9. 10: „the 
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven ;" Kevel. 
21,' 8 : „the unbelieving etc. etc. shall have their part in the 
lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." — The depar- 
ting from sin is a fruit of repentance. For every one, who is 
not conscious of the burden of sin, will not leave that sin, 
which is so congenial to his nature. 

461. Of how many parts repentance consists? We answer: 
of two parts, viz : the act of repentance, and of faith. 

The act of repentance consists of 

N- man's conviction of being a sinner, 

3- the conviction that God is zealous against sin; and that 
he is determined to punish the same with neUfire in all eter- 
nity ; 

3- the conviction that man is by no means able to help 
himself in this emergency, and that he has to expect this help 
from no creature whatsoever; 

T' of a deepfelt repentance and sorrow with which the 
sinner feels himself sorely afflicted on account of his sin ; and 
finally 

n- of a heartfelt desire, if possible, not to have sinned at 
all, together with a intense hatred against sin. 

462. A repentance of such a nature we meet with in the 
case of King David, who after having, with an afflicted heart, 
listened to the threatenings of divine judgement, exclaimed 
„I have sinned against the Lord," 2 Samuel. 12, 13; — in 
the case of Peter, who with many tears and much anxiety re- 
pented his having denied his master, Matth. 26, 75 ; — in the case 
of the women who had been a sinner, and who whilst repen- 
ting, shed her tears so abundantly as to wet the Lord's feet there- 
with, Luk. 7, 38 ; — in the case of the publican, who, in the 
deepfelt contrition of his heart, would not lift, up asmuch as 

9* 



132 Chap. XVIII. Of repentance. 

his eyes unto heaven, but prayed God, with a repenting soul 
to grant him forgiveness of his sins, Luk. 18, 13. 

463. The same sort of repentance manifests itself also in 
the case of those ungodly men, who, as their conscience awa- 
kens to the state of their soul, are despairing of the grace of God. 
Thus we read of Cain, that, when his sins were laid before 
liim, he exclaimed: „My punishment is greater than I can 
bear." Genes. 4. 13. Judas also repented his having shed 
innocent blood, and by this thought fell in such a state of 
affliction, that he took away his lite, in order to deliver him- 
self of this painful idea, Matth. 27, 4. 5. 

464. The second part of the christian's repentance consists 
o^ faith (cf. §.461.) Faith is a heartfelt confidence of a sinful but re- 
penting man, that God is willing, in accordence with His gracious 
promises, in mercy to forgive all his sins, through Jesus Christ. 

465. Faith constitutes a most indispensable part of repen- 
tance for, we find: 

a. both, (repentance and faith) always mentioned together 
in Scripture: Mrk. 1.15: „repent ye and 6eK««e. the Gospel." — 
And to the woman who had been a sinner, and Avho had re- 
pented her sins with many tears, Luk. 7, 38 the Lord Je- 
sus says : „thy faith has saved thee, go in peace." 

/9. that a repentance of sins without faith, would lead 
us to despair. This is clearly proved in the adduced in- 
stances of Cain and Judas. For the repentance of these 
two men agrees entirely with that of David and Peter, with 
that exception, that the first could not find any comfort in 
their mournful state, whilst the latter have found this comfort 
in the grace of God, by which their hearts have been lifted 
up again and gladdened. Thus we see that it is faith, 
that constitutes the difference between that repentance 
Avhich leads to despair and condemnation , and that 
which leads to the grace of God. Which proves faith to be 
:i principal part of a true and saving repentance. And it is 
to this circumstance St. Paul refers, when speaking, 2 Cor. 
7, 10. of a twofold sorrow: ,,/or' godly sorrow worketh repen- 
tance not to be repented of: (such a repentance namely which 
is accompanied by faith, as was the case with that of David 
and Peter) but the sorrow of the world worketh death'^ (a sor- 
row which is without faith, as was that of Cain and Judas). He- 
pentance consists therefore of these two parts. Every one 
who becomes a conviction of his sins , and sincerely repents 
and mourns over them, and who believes that God is willing 
to forgive him his sins, out of mere mercy, for the sake and 
the merits of Jesus Christ, — may be convinced that he has 
come to a real and saving repentance. 



Chap. XVIII. Of repentance. 133 

466. Besides the abovementioned, there are other things, 
which are to be considered as wwessential parts of repen- 
tance, viz: 

I. The satisfaction which man may he induced to make and 
the ransom he may be loilling to rmder for his sins, for 

1. Such has nowhere in scripture been required as an 
essential ingredient of repentance; 

2. If we were able to make satisfaction for our sins, then 
the_ blotting out of the same would not any more be of grace, 
which latter is jet taught in scripture. 

3. ^Many have repented,, without having given satisfaction 
for their sins. Thus we read of the publican having repen- 
ted , and consequently delivered of his guilt , wthout 
having given satisfaction for them, Luk. 18, 13. 14. The 
same was the case with the woman who had been a sinner, 

,ibid. 7, 50; nor did P^er do penance, while yet his repentance 
was considered a sincere and effectual one, as also did one 
of the malefactors, who were crucified with the Lord Jesus, 
for he cannot he said to have been in a position to be able 
to do satisfaction for his sins, Luk. 23, 40 ff. — From which 
follows, that, for the sake of an effectual and saving repen- 
tance, our own satisfaction is not required. 

467. Nor can 

n. The confession of sin, or the confessing the same to the 
priest be said to be a necessary part of repentance. It is 
true that the (lutheran) church has retained the same, because 
of its usefulness and the wholesome influence it is calculated 
to exert. For by means of the services connected with the 
same, all those who intend to join the Sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper, become, in as far as they require it, properly 
instructed of its importance. For there they are admonished 
to try themselves, whether they might approach the table of 
the Lord as worthy receivers ; the Minister having thereby an 
opportunity to admonish his audience as to the things partaining to 
their salvation. And every one , who has a neart burdened 
with care has then an occasion offered to him for unburdening 
the same before the Minister of the divine word and for re- 
ceiving his advice. Finally it offers an opportunity to bring 
home God's promises concerning the merciful forgiveness of 
our sins to every one more especially. — Yet, in spite of all 
these advantages, confession is not to be considered as a ne- 
cessary part of repentance, as if without the same there could 
be no effectual repentance. To prove which, we state: 

468. That, even before this usage had been introduced 
in the church, men have repented effectually. For it is, in 
itself, quite sufficient for man, to confesses his sins unto 



134 Chap. XVm. Of repentance. 

God; aod many pious Christians residing among heathens ai^ 
turks, do sincerely repent their sins, and find grace by (jod, 
although they never have occasion to confess them to any 
mortal. 

469. in. Nor is the new obedience to be considered as a 
part of repentance, but rather as a fruit of the same. 

470. d. Tihe source of this repenMnce. Eepentance must 
be wrought in us by God, because no man is able to bring 
himself to it, by his own exertions. „We are not sufficient to 
think anything as of ourselves,"- 2. Cor. 3, 5 ; . „Por it is God 
that worketh in you, both to wilh and to do,'^ Philip. 2, 13. — 
Now we have found repentance to consist of two parts, viz. of 
a sorrow on account of the evil consequences of sin, and of a 
jog, on account of the merciful forgiveness of sins. The sor- 
row has its source in the law, for hy it is jhe Jcnowledge of 
sin,"- Eom. 3, 20; for the wrath of God has been m^de mani- 
fest to every sinner, as we read Deut. 27, 20: y,Cursed be 
he that corfirmeth noth all the wdrds of this law to do them." 
And St. Paul distinctly says Eom. 4, 15 : „the law worketh 
wrath." 

471. The joy springs from the Gospel, which is a joyful 
messageof the grace of God, and of his forgiving our sins, and 
in which we are promised that every one who believes in him 
shall be saved. It tells us, that the Lord Jesus had come into 
the world to save sinners, 1. Timoth. 1, 15; that his blood 
cleanses us from all our sins, 1. John. 1, 7; that there is no 
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, Eom. 8, 1. 
— These are the doctrines which a faithful Minister has to 
preach to his hearers, in accordance to the will of Christ ; 
Matth. 13, 52: „Every scribe which is instructed unto the 
kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, 
which brii^eth forth out of his treasure things new an old." 

472. It is accordingly of importance, that these old and 
new things. Law and Gospel should not be mixed up with each 
other,. but carefiilly kept separate. Like as the law does not 
teach the .forgiveness of sin, so nobody has a right to look 
upon the Gospel as a mere call to repentence, by which men 
should come to a conviction of their sins, and by -it be frigh- 
tened. For the reader will have had sufficient occasion to see 
by the forgiving statements, how that the Law and the Gospel 
had each of them their separate functions, how that the Law served 
frighten the consciense, whilst the Gospel has to pour comfort 
in the same, how that the Law could comfort no sinner, whilst 
the Gospel was to frighten no one on account of his sins. 

473. e. Who among men are concerned by this rmentance. 
It concerns all men who have sinned without exception. It 



Chap. XVm. Of repentance. 135 

makes no difference, whether they formerly acknowledged the 
grace of God, or not, whether they had committed sins from 
neglect or from wilfulness. This can be proved by the fact: 

474. That all sinners have been called to repentance. Matth. 
11, 28: „Come unto me all i/e that labour" etc.; Luk. 24, 
17: „That repentance and remission of sins were to be prea- 
ched in his name among all nations;"- John. 7, '37: „If any 
men thirst, let him come unto me, and drink;" Acts 10, 43: 
„To him give all prophets witness, that through his. name, 
whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." — 
In this preaching of the Gospel all men without exception, 
and without any distinction are addressed, as well as those 
who had known already the mercy of God, and those who 
had not. It is therefore not with us to imagine such a di- 
stinction or to attempt to put a limit to the lovingkindness 
of our God, 

475. Because God calls to repentance, and receives in merci/ 
especially those, who have formerly known him and his grace, 
hut have deprived themselves aaain of this knowledge in conse- 
quence of sin. Jerem. 3, 1 : „Thou hast played the harlot with 
niiiny lovers; t/et return again to me, saith the Lord;" v. 6, 7: 
„Ha8t thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? 
she is gone upon every high mountain and under every green 
tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said, after 
she had done all these things, turn thou unto me." 

David also, ^Yho by inspiration of the Holy spirit, has 
been able to write so many beautiful Psalms, fell afterwards 
in to sin, to return from which he was requested by 
Nathan, 2. Samuel. 12, Iff. — Manasse, who when a cliild, had 
been brought by his father to a conviction of the truth , gave 
himself,at a later period, unto idolatry, and other grievous sins, 
2. Kings 21, 21 ff., and was afterwards induced to repent by 
means of a hard imprisonment, 2. Chron. 33, 11. 12. — Peter 
also, after having, denied the Lord Jesus, was induced to 
repent, partly by the authority of the Lord himself, Luk. 22, 61 
partly by a kind conversation, John, 21, 15 ff. — All which, 
after having, as it is admitted, on all sides, committed sin, 
have repented and been received again in mercy; and in the 
same way also those in our days, who fall into sins may 
hope to come repentance and to receive mercy. 

476. f. As to the fruits and consequences of repentance; ol 
this, two are to be mentioned, viz: 

a. God's grace and mercy, which He bestows again upon 
that man whom, on account of his sin, he formerly hated. 
Thus David says Pslm. 51, 17: „the sacrifices of God are a 
broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt 



136 Chap. XVin. Of repentance. 

not despise;''- Pelm. 34, 19: „The Lord is nigh unto them 
that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a con- 
trite spirit." And God says himself Isa. 57, 15 : „I dwell in 
the high and holjr place, with him also that is of a contrite 
and humble spirit; ibid. 66, 2 : „To this man will I look, even 
to him, that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at 
my word." That this is indeed the case, is sufficiently pro- 
ved by the instances connected with Peter, the publican , . the 
M'oman who had been a sinner, to whom the Lord Jesus has 
spoken words of comfort, and whom he has mercifully accep- 
ted again. It are more espially those who are poor in the 
spirit, who have the .promise of inheriting life eternal, 
Matth. 5, 3. 

477. /3. A new obedience and change of life; and where 
both are absent then the latter estate of such a man is worse 
than his first, and of such a one the proverb holds true: 
„The dog is turned to his vomit again; and the saw that was 
washed to her wallowing in the mire," 2. Pet. 2, 20. 22. But 
every one who comes to saving repentance, departs from evil 
and does good, to which we are frequently exhorted by God: 
Isa. 1, 16; 1. Peter, 3, 11; Pslm. 34, 15 etc.; and this for 
the following reasons. Every one who repents his sins from 
his heart, must necessarily hate the same; and in thus hatiog 
it, he will take care not to committ them again, thereby, by the 
help of the spirit mortifying the deeds of the body, Ilom: 8, 
13. and Crucifying the flesh, with its affections and lusts," 
Galat. 5, 24. 



*.«»i5-»; 



137 



Chapter XIX. 

God summons tlic repenting sinner before His judgement seal, and after 
having convicted him of his sins, and pronounced punishment over him. He 
justifies him , and in mercy forgives him all his sins, for the salie Of the 
sinners having accepted by faith the merits of Christ, who has given to 
divine justice that satisfaction, which sin and -its punishment had made 

requisite. 



478. We have been considering^ man in his sinftil state, 
in consequence of which state (if God would de;! with him 
according to justice) , he would be brought before the judge- 
ment of God , there to be convicted of sin , and condem- 
ned to eternal death. — We have now to look for the 
means by tvhich he might be saved this emergency, de- 
livered from his transgression, and the punishment conse- 
quent to it.. As such means are to be considered Juslijwation 
and forgiveness- of sins. — In order to get a right view of this 
matter, we have tor attend to the following considerations. — 

479. a. What it is, thai is implied by the term y, justify. '-'■ 
The proper meaning of this word is perfectly familiar to those 
who have any acquaintance with the proceedings of a court of 
justice ; in the course of which only those criminals are looked 
upon as justified who, although they have been convicted of 
their evil deeds, and have been condemned to punishment, 
but have yet been liberated out of mere, mercy, acquitted 
of their guilt, and looked upon and declared to be, just. 
Exactly so it is the case Avith mankind, who are all, without 
exception brought before God's judgement throne, there to be 
convicted of sin, but out of mercy and for the sake of our 
Mediator, the Lord Jesus, to have their sins forgiven, — as 
If they had never committed sin, and to be looked upon as 
such. Such an act, and nothing else, is impHed by the term 
,ju8tification." 

480. We have also to consider: 

b. the ncdure of this juslificaiion , and what it consists of; 
whereby we have especially to inquire, what it is that forms 
part of justification, and what not. 

481i The fact is, that justification is nothing else, than a 
forgiveness of sins, and a remission of all punishment, where- 
by men are considered and declared to be just, as if they had 
never committed sin, and never become guilty before 
God. But for the full understanding of this point, we 



138 Chap. XIX. Of justification. 

shall here repe.it once more the fiict, that sinful man is brought 
before the judgement seat of Grod, especially for two ends, 
viz : ' 

482. First, in order to exact from him the discharge oj the 
debt which Adam hdd incurred even when in his state of per- 
feetness, and before he had sinned, namely that of entire obe- 
dience. Men were bound to yield due obedience to all the 
laws which God had written into his heart, or which He might 
proffer him in any other way. Of this duty no man could pos- 
sibly free himself, even after all men had rebelled against God by 
sin and disobedience. If therefore divine justice does exact 
this obedience of us, it follows that we cannot be justified 
unless we have settled this debt. 

483. Thus the first act, or the first action of God's 
Judgement is brought about, which consists in the fact, that 
the Lord Jesus has fulfilled the law in our behalf. He applies 
this justice on us, as if we had wrought out the same, and 
had fulfilled the law, as has been proved |§. 422, 423. Thus 
the believer is justified in that all the guilt of which be had 
been accused of, is entirely remitted; for the Lord Jesus 
having settled on his behalf his debt of due obedience, the 
sinner is looked upon as if he himself had' fulfilled the whole 
law, and had paid the debt of obedience. 

484. The second action of the divine judgement concerns 
the sins of which man has made himself gniliy. It is impos- 
sible for him to give satisfaction for this guilt. This is 
evident from the proceeding statement, and will be still more 
established in the sequel of this treatise. It was therefore 
necessary for the Lord Jesus to intercede again in this re- 
spect, and to set all things aright. And because of his ha- 
ving, by his sufferings and death, borne our sins and suffered 
for them, these sins are not any more imputed unto us, but 
remitted as if we had never committed them. 1. John. 2, 
1. 2: „If any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, 
Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our 
sins : and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole 
world;" 2. Cor. 5, 21: „fbr he (God) bath made him to be 
sin for us who .knew no sin; that we might be made the 
rigliieousness of God in him."- 

485. Thus in the act of our justification two different 
things are accomplished, namely, in the first place , the 
righteousHfess of Christ and his fulfilling the law are impu- 
ted unto man, as if he had done these things himself; -^ and 
secondly, the sins _ which he had committed are not im- 
puted to him, as if he had never committed the same. By 
the first act he is delivered from n debt, which he never pos- 



Chap. XIX. Of justification. 139 

sibly could have paid; whilst by the second he is freed from 
the burden of sin, which he never could have atoned for, and 
the punishment for which he could never have sustained. By 
these two acts he is delivered from the judgement of God, 
in such a manner, that henceforward he has not any more to 
fear either guilt or transgression, nor the evils which are a 
consequence of them. 

486. In order to the establishment of the facts which we 
have just now stated, it remains for us to prove: 

1. that just^ation is wrought ottt by the imputing unto us 
of the righteousness of Christ, and of his merits, and 

2. hy remission or forgiveness of sin. 

487. 1. The first may be proved by the fact 

OS. that' such ^e find clearly stated in scripture. Genes. 
15, 6: „ Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to 
him for ri^Meousness;" Kom. 4, 5: „To him that worketh not, 
but believeth on him that justified the ungodly, his faith is 
counted for righteousness." 

488. j3. That we are justified by the righteousnnss of Christ. 
But of this righteousness we are only able to partake by its 
being imputed urito us; Rom. 5, 18. 19: „As by the offence 
of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation 5 even 
so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all 
men unto justification of life; for as by one man's disobedi- 
ence many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one 
shall many be made righteous." — No other manner of 
righteousness is to be found stated in the word of God, than 
that which is brought about by imputing unto us the righte- 
ousness of Christ. Like as, for instance, a debtor, as soon 
as any other man has paid his debts for him, is free of all 
payment, because the payment another had made for him is 
imputed to his benefit, exactly, so we h;ive forgiven our sins, 
after Christ had done satisfnction on our b,ehalf for the same. 
For this satisfaction is imputed unto us, as if we ourselves 
had suffered punishment for our sins. 

489. Clirist lias been made sin only because to him have 
been imputed our sins. For thus we are made just by the 
imputation of his righteousness. ,Christ himself had no sin. 
„But he who knew no sin, was made by God to be sin for 
us," 2. Cor. 5, 21; upon him He has laid all our sins, Isa. 
53, 7. Christ has taken all our sins upon him, and borne 
them on his own body, John. 1, 29; 1. Pet. 2, 24. This 
could only be menaged by our sins being imputed unto him, 
as if he had committed them himself; and therefore he has 
suffered the punishment of the same, as if he had committed 
these sins himself. And like as Christ, when he knew no sin 



140 Chap. XIX. Of justification. 

had been made sin for us, in that the sins of others were 
imputed to him, so we when we were yet sinners, became 
justified, by the righteousness of another being imputed unto 
us. Thus it happened, as has been formerly stated, that by 
the righteousness of one many have been made righteous. 

490. 2. Again justification is h'hought about Tiy the remission 
and forgiveness of our sins. This appears especially evident 
from the fact that justification and forgiveness of sins are loo- 
ked upon in scripture as one and the same thing. Thus St. 
Paul m speaking of justification, says : „the blessedness of the 
man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 
saying : blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and 
whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord 
will not impute sin," Kom. 4, 6. 7. 8. The same words Da- 
vid speaks in his Psalms, concerning forgiveness of sin, the 
Apostle Paul makes use of when speaking of justification, 
Act. 13, 38, 39: „Be it known unto you therefore, that through 
this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and 
by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which 
ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." In this pas- 
sage forgiveness of sins is treated in no way differently from 
justification. - Rom. 5, 9 : „We shall be saved, being justi- 
fied by his blood." 1 John. 1, 7: „the blood of Jesus Christ" 
etc. — Eom. 18, 3. 4 : righteousness and forgiveness of sins 
are spoken as being identical ^WJiat the law could not do, in 
that it was weak through the flesh, God sendim his own Soti in 
the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the 

flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us f 
Rom. 3, 25: „io declare his righteousness for the remission of 
sins thai are past, through the forbearance of God.'''- Prom which 
it is easy to see, that justification consists in the remission 
of sins. 

491. Exactly so the criminal is proceeded with in an 
earthly court of justice. If he is accused and convicted of 
guilt, but his sentence reprieved, so that he is henceforth to 
be looked upon as not having been a criminal at all — then 
he must be said to be justified by this. Nothing else is requi- 
red to justify him. 

492. From Avhich follows: 

' a. that this righteousness of the sinner before the judgement 
of God, ts by no means identical wUh God's indwelling divine 
righteousness, because 

a. Such is nowhere to be found in scripture ; 

d. the same characteristics of that righteousness, by which 
we are justified before God, are not applicable to God's essen- 
tial righteousness. For our righteousness is imputed unto us • 



Chap. XIX. Of justification. 141 

whilst God's essential righteousness, in as far namely as it 
is not intended to dwell in men cannot be imputed unto men. 
Our righteousness is but a consequence of the remission of 
our unrighteousness and of our sins, whilst the essential right- 
eousness of God cannot be said to proceed from the same 
source. Which proves that the righteousness whereby we are 
justified in the sight of God , to have no identity with God's 
essential righteousness. 

493. b. Ihat the sinner's righteousness in the eye of God, is 
not be looked upon as if now our nabwre had become so pene- 
trated by purity and holiness, that henceforth we might be able 
to appear before God as holy and unbleamble as the holy angels. 
For 

«. righteousness is an imputation and but a forgiveness 
of sin, can therefSl'c not be said to be a purity and holiness 
of our nature, etc. — Though a criminal has had reprieved his 
merited sentence, it yet remains sure that he has committed 
evil, although it has been forgiven him. Thus every sinner, 
whose sins have been forgiven, though he is justified, has yet 
remaining ' a blot upon him , that he has committed this evil, 
though the punishment consequent to the same is not imputed 
unto him. 

/?. We know that sin js not so entirely rfioted out of our 
nature, as that not every believer should be in circumstances 
to join St. Paul in his complaint, Eom. 7, 18. 19 : „ To will 
is present with me ; but ■ how to perform that which is good I 
find not; for, the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which 
I wyuld not I do." v. 23 : „But I see another law in my mem- 
bers, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into 
captivity to the law of sin which is in my members," Galat. 5, 
16 ; „For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against 
the flesh : and these are contrary the one another: so that ye 
cannot do the things that ye would." — But if man's righteous- 
ness had the power to 'make our natures as pure as that of 
the holy angels, then such a complaint ought never to be 
heard of from the mouth o' the saints. The renewed man 
would not be any more polluted by sin, nor would he have 
necessary to ask God to forgive him all his sins, which yet 
David declares to be most indispensable for every saint, Pslm. 
32, 6. 

494. c. Concerning the. sources of this justification, we have 
again to consider, that 

495. a. the first and principal source (principalis efficiens) 
of men's justification is God, in that he does not deal with 
man according to his severe justice, but according to his great 
mercy; Kom. 3, 30: „It is one God, which shall justify;" 



142 Chap. XIX. Of justification. 

Rom. 4. 5: „Believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly" 
ibid. 8, 33 : „It is God that justifieth." 

496. ^. Another source of our justification is the Lord 
Jesus Christ, Avith his merits and acquired righteousness (_me- 
ritoria). In this respect two things are to be kept in view, 
viz : 

N- that we are justified hy God for the sake of the. merits 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is evident from what we read, 
Rom. 3, 24. 25: „Being justified freely by his grace through 
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set 
forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood to declare 
his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past." Isa. 
53, 2: T,by his knowledge shall mt/ righteous servant justify many ; 
for he shall bear their iniquities." Jerem. 33, 6 : „and this is 
the name whereby he shall be called, the Lord of righteousness;" 
1 Cor. 1, 30: „Jesus, who is made unto our righteousness;" 2 
Cor. 5, 19: „God was in Christ reconciling the world unto him- 
self, not imputing their tresprasses unto them;" v. 21: „God 
made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin etc.;" Rom. 5, 
18. 19: ,,-Bz/ the offence of one judgement cam.e upon all men 
to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free 
gift came upon all men unto justification of life; for as by one 
man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience 
of one all shall be rriade righteous."- 

497. 3. That, independent of Christ, no merit is able to 
justify us. And this can be done neither by our own merits, 
nor by those of others. 

Not by our own merits, for such would have to be wrought 
out by works which we are either bidden to do, or which we 
chose to do for ourselves. 

DC. By the practice of works which we are bidden to do, 
we can deserve nothing, since -^e are bound to do them, and 
since God requires them of us with great thratenings. For 
He tells us that, if we do not all things, which he has commnnded 
us to do, He is jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the father 
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (Exod. 
20, 5), who condemnes us into hellfire (Deut. 27, 26: „Cur- 
seth be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to 
do them.") Now if a bondman executes every command 
which his lord lays upon him with many fearfiil threatejjjngs, 
he cannot be said to have any merit in the sight of his mas- 
ter. Exactly so it is with us; we are not able to merit any 
thing in striving to do the will of our master; we do nothing, 
but our duty. And this we are taught by the Lord Jesus 
himself Luk. 17, 7. ff. „But which of you having a servant 
ploughing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when 



Chap. XIX. Of justification. 143 

he is come from the field, go and sit down to meat? And 
will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may 
sup, and gird thyself, and serve me , till I have eaten and 
drunken; and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he 
thank that servant because he did the things, that were com- 
manded him? I trow not. So likewise when ye shall have done all 
those things which are commanded you, say: „„We unprofi- 
table servant, we have done that which was our duty to do."" 
To which must added that even our most noble and excellent 
works are polluted by sin, and that God, if He should deal 
with us after his justice , should rather have to give us pu- 
nishment than reward. Isa. 64, 6 : „ We are all as an unclean 
thing and ^all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;'^ 

498. The avojJes we choose' to do for ourselves, cannot 
have the merit to acquire for us from God the gift of righ- 
teousness and eternal life. For God is highly displeased if 
one, who has to serve him, endeavours to do things after his 
own sense, and has expressly forbidden such undertakings, 
Deut. 4, 2 : „ Ye shall not add unto^ the word which T command 
you , neither shall ye diminish ought 'from it." Thus God was 
sorely displeased on the occasion of Jerobeam's having erected 
a tei'npel at Dan and Bethel, 1. King 12, 28 ff.; which under- 
taking he also punished by his prophet, ibid. 13, Iff. Nadab 
and Abihu, two sons of Aaron undertook to offer sacrifice in 
a manner different from that which God had commanded, and 
were therefore devoured by the fire, Numb. 10, 1. 2. Israel, 
in the time of Isajah, was punished because of their having 
added to the worship of God, things of human invention, 
Isa. 1, 12: „When ye come to appear before me, who hath 
required this at your hand, to tread my courts?" And the 
Lord Jesus adjudges such things as follow: „In vain do they 
worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men-,'-'- 
Matth. 15, 9. ^ 

From which we learn that all those works, which dis- 
please God and are punished by him, cannot possibly procure 
either righteousness or Salvation. All such works that m;in 
chooses to do from his own will, displease, God and are pu- 
nished by him, and are therefore not acceptable to him and 
can accordingly acquire no salvation for mankind. 

499. Nor is it at all possible for the merits of others , to 
acquire for us our salvation. For if one be ever so holy yet 
sin cleaves to him, and he cannot work out even his own 
righteousness, but must jiray God to forgive him his sins, 
Pslm. 32, 6. And even if he endeavours to do good works, 
— yet by them he only does his duty, nor can he acquire 



144 Chap. XIX. Of justification. 

for himself any merit, much less for others. An experience 
which even David made: Pslm. 49, 8. 9: „None of them can 
by any means redeem him brother, nor give God a ransom 
for him, for the redemption o^' their soul is precious.'- 

500. The manner in which our justification is procee- 
ded with it as follows. The righteousness is, 

1. offered by God unto man, and 

2. received and accepted by man. 

Thus God offers his righteousness, unto man by_ means 
of His Gospel, and by the holy Sacraments, of which we 
propose to treat subsequently. From the last mentioned 
spnngs the faith by which the justification is accepted, as 
we intend to prove immediately. If man has offered unto him 
the justification, then he accepts of it by faith, which is, as it 
Avere, the spiritual hand, by which the grace of God, the 
merits of Christ , the forgiveness of sins , righteousness , life 
and salvation are accepted and laid hold of. 

502. I. The nature of faith. Three things are necessary 
for our belief, viz : 

a. A knowledge of all that which God has revealed con- 
cerning our salvation ; of which St. Paul writes, Eom. 10, 14: 
„How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" 

b. An undoubted assent and conviction, as to the truth and 
inspiration of the divine word. If there is one, who- has oc- 
cassion to hear and to perceive that Avhich God teaches, but 
considers it as a fable, contradicting it within his heart, — ^ 
such a one cannot have faith. For he has no faith in God; 
he grieves the holy Ghost, putting away the word of God from 
him, and judges himself unworthy of everlasting life, Acts. 13, 
46. 

c. An unflinchinff confidence in God; whereby man has the 
firm assurance that God is able and willing to bring to pass 
all His kind promises for his benefit, and for that of all man- 
kind. ... 

503. Above all things it is necessary '' for man to acquire 
a thorough knowledge of all that Avhich God has revealed to 
be necessary for our Salvation. More especially the Gospel 
promises with regard to his merciful purposes regarding sin- 
ful men; the message concerning the merits of Christ, which 
have been wrought out for the benefit of aU mankind. For 
this is a testimony of God's love concerning all men^ and of 
His will, that all men should be saved ; for which purpose He 
has sent his only begotten Son into the world, who has tas- 
ted death for all men, and has become the propitiation for the 
sins of the whole world. ' All this is necessary for us to know, 
in order to get at a right understanding of the divine promi- 



Chap. XIX. Of faith. 145 

ses and explanation, and lies within the limits of that know- 
ledge, upon which our faith must be founded. 

Now if there is any one who hears, understands and 
believes this to be true, he will receive a firm conviction, 
that God will have mercy upon him, forgive him his 
sins, and make him an heir of everlasting life; that Christ 
the Lord has died for him, and in order to deliver him from 
his sins , to reconcile him to his heavenly Father and to pre- 

gare for him the way unto eternal life, as well as that Christ 
as suffered, and shed his blood for him, and that he had 
been delivered for his sins and raised again for his justification. 

505. This faith has its source in the holy scriptures, 
which induce men to reason thus: It is the will of God that 
all men should be graved ; He loves all men, and is exceedingly 
anxious that all should be saved and none perish. Christ has 
been given as a Saviour unto mankind, he has died for all, 
and reconciled them all unto God. Every one who bears a 
firm assurance of these facts in his breast, will have no 
doubts of his having found favour in the sight of God , and 
forgiveness of sins; as also that he is living in a state of 
salvation, and that he is to be one day heir of the kingdom 
of heaven and of everlasting glory,. Such firm assurance and 
such confidence in God constitue a true faith. By such a 
faith we are able to appropriate to ourselves the mercies of 
God and the merits oi Christ; and like as God Himself declares 
that He desires all men to be saved, and that Christ has 
been given a ransom for many, so in his turn believing man 
argues again: God desires me to be saved; Christ has be- 
come n ransom for me. 

506. In the same way all saints have manifested their 
confidence. Paul declares Galat. 2, 20: „The Son of God 
hath loved me and given himself for me;" — as also Mary 
Luk. 1, 47: „Mj spirit hath rejoiced in the God my Sa- 
viour ;" — Isa. 53, 4 : „He hath borne our griefs and carried 
our sorrows;" 1. Cor. 1, 30: „Christ Jesus is made unto us 
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption." 
— Thus the believer appropriates to himself the divine grace 
and the merits of Christ, and thereby that faith by which 
he is justified. 

507. n. The source of this faith, is to be found in the word 
of God, and in the holy Sacraments. 

a. In the word of God for „faith cometh by hearing, 
and hearing by the word of God," Eom. 10, 17. 

|3. In the holy Sacraments; for baptism „is the washing 
of regeneration ," Titus 3, 5. But regeneration cannot take 
place where there is no faith; hence faith comes by baptism. 

10 



146 Chnp. XIX. Of faith. 

The holy Supper appropriates the merits of Christ's to the 
Communicants in such a manner, that thereby, the Lord Je- 
sus testifies to have givai his body, as well as shed 
his blood for them. This every man is requested to apply 
to himself individually, as if the Lord Jesus did say to every 
one especially: this is my body which is given for thee, for 
the forgiveness of sins ; and this is my blood , which is shed 
for thee, for the forgiveness of sins. 

508. Now some might very properly ask: If faith has 
its source in the word, where is this word to he found'^ Is it 
to be found in the Bible only, or in the articles of the chri- 
stian faith, laid down in the Apostolical creed*)? Or is 
there any other word intended? We answer, the word which 
alone is the source of faith, is the doctrine of the grace of 
God and the merits of Christ, the access to which is open 
to every one. This doctrine is the foundation and the source 
of our faith. But by this, it is by no means intended to ex- 
clude the other articles of faith; we are rather desirous 
of including them, inasmuch as they are requisite for a right 
understanding and perfection of the above mentioned doctrines 
of the grace of God and the merits of Christ, and as 
without which them faith could not have been established in the 
heart of men, with sufficient firmness. 

509. To whom faith is given? faith is profferd and granted 
by God unto all men without exception. For He causes re- 
pentance and forgiveness of sins to be preached among all 
nations, Luk. 24, 27; he commandes all men every where to 
repent; faith cometh by hearing, Rom. 10, 17. To this end 
He has given His word unto all men, that all men might re- 
ceive faith by it. For this word is „the power of God unto 
Salvation to_ every one that believeth," Eom. 1, 16. — Now 
God, on his part, and in as far as He is concerned in this 
transaction, offers faith to every man, by means of his word. 

,,^^, ^^^^™g like a benevolent man who gives alms 
to all the poor collected before his door, although it is not 
accepted by all of them. 

r '^i^^^j ■^¥' "^^^ question as to who is partaMng of this 
laOh and who not, wiU be more particularly explained in that 
Chapter which treats of conversion. ' In this place we shall 
only state that there are to be distinguished two kinds of 
men, to whom faith has been granted. There are - either 
children; who have been regenerated by baptism; _ or adults, 
such as have come to years of discretion , so that by being in- 
structed in the word, they receive faith. ^ ^ 
511. Ch tldren who have been ba|)tized are partakers 
*) See the note oa the bottom of page 41. 



Chap. XIX. Of faith. 147 

of the faith, even before they have come to the full use and 
advantage of their own reason, for 

«. the Lord Jesus himself testifies that they helieoe in 
Mm, Matth. 28, 6. 

512. |3. Theirs is the Ungdom of heaven. Mark. 10, 14 : 
„Suffer the little children to come vmto me, and forbid them 
not, for of such is the kmgdom of heaven;" Now it must be 
remembered that none but those who have faith, can enter the, 
kingdom of heaven, as the Lord says Mrk. 16, 16 : „He that 
believeth not shall be damned;" John. 3, 5 : „except a man 
be borne of water and of the spirit he cannot enter the king- 
dom of heaven." v. 18 : „he that believeth not is condemned 
already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only 
begotten Son of the father." 

513. y. Whosoever does not believe remains imder the 
curse; the unbelievers shall have their portion in the lake 
which burneth with fire and brimstone, Revel. 21, 8. — 
John. 3, 36: „he that believeth not the Son shall not see 
life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." — But little 
children do partake of this blessing, Mrk. 10, 16: „ Jesus 
took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them and bles- 
sed them." 

514. 8. Little children moreover are children of God, who, 
if it should please Him, to cut them off in their infancy, makes 
them heirs of the kingdom of God, and fellowheirs with Christ. 
But this adoption is brought about by faith, Galat. 3. 26: 
„ye are the children of God hi/ faith in Jesus Christ." John. 1, 
12 : „As many as received him, to them gave he power to 
become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name." 

515. e. Nor are we without instances of children having 
been mercifully gifted with the realities of the christian faith. 
Thus of those who had been circumcised on the eight day, 
we are told, that therewith they received, as Paul calls it, a seal 
of righteousness of the faith. Which proves them to have been 
possessed of richteousness and faith, else they could not have 
been sealed. — And we read of John the Baptist having lea- 
ped for joy in the womb of his mother, at the moment of 
Mary's enterning into the house of his mother, having conce- 
ived the child Jesus, Luk. 1, 41. 44. What could he have 
rejoiced for, but for the coming of his Saviour in the flesh, 
who was to redeem him (as well as all mankind) irom sin. 

By this circumstance we learn 

K- that God Is able to raise up faith even in litttle phil- 
dren, although they have not yet arrived at the fiill exercise 
of their reason ; and 

2- that, as God, unter the old testament dispensation, has 

10* 



148 Chap. XIX. Of faith. 

wrought faith in children by means of circumcision, so in our 
days, He works faith in little children by means of baptism, 
yea that He is able the work faith without any means at all, 
as in the case of John. 

516. Adults, that is, such as have come to the full use 
of their reason, and are able to. be brought to the faith by the 
teaching of the word, receive faith, — but not all of them. The rea- 
son for this is not be sought by God. For he _ -will have all 
men come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Timot. 2, 4; he 
calls every one that labours and is heavy leaden, to come to 
him, and to come to rest by him, Matth. 11, 28. — But the 
reason that not all men are receiving faith, lies with men; inas- 
much as some men do resist the divine calling, and the word (which 
latter is the power of God unto Salvation to everj^ one that 
believeth); in consequence of which the holy Ghost is not able 
to accomplish his work on such stifihecked and stubborn 
people. Thus Stephen admonishes the Jews, Act. 7, 61; „ye 
stifmecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always 
resist the holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." And St. 
Paul speaking to the Jews at Antioch, who had persecuted 
him and Barnabas says : „It was necessary that the word of God 
should first have been spoken to you : but seing ye put it from 
you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo we 
turn to the Gentiles," Acts. 13, 46. — Yea the Lord Jesus 
adduces the same circumstance, as a reason for the Jews' (of his 
time) not receiving the christian faith, — namely that they had 
rejected his profferd grace; Matth. 23, 37: „How often would 
I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen ga^ 
thereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 

507. Thus we find that faith is given only to those, who 
allow themselves to be guided by the w^ord of God, and who 
do not resist the same with enmity. 

518. IV. In what manner are we justified by faith. Faith 
does not justify in such a manner, as if it was' a meritorious 
principle. For m the work of our Justification and Salvation, 
faith IS placed in opposition to merit, Rom. 3, 24. 25 : „Being 
justified fi-eely by hiB grace through the redemption that is in 
Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation 
through faith in his blood etc;" ibid. 11, 6: if by grace, then 
is it no more of works , otherwise grace is no more grace; but 
if it be of works, then it is no more grace, otherwise work 
is no more work;" ibid. 4, 4. 5 : „to him that worketh, is the 
reward not reckoned of grace but of debt; but to him that 
worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, 
his faith is counted for righteousness.'' Since then all merit is 
excluded from our righteousness, and since works cannot, for 



Chap. XIX. Of fyth. 149 

the sake of their merits, procure righteousness, it follows that 
faith cannot be said to be a meritorious work, and as such to 
justify. 

519. As to the manner in which faith is said to justify, 
we refer partly to that which has been advanced concerning 
the justification, which is brought about by our faith being im- 
puted unto us, partly we recommend, for the better under- 
standing of this .point, the two following points being kept 
in view : 

ct. that faith is a confidence and an assurance. That confi- 
dence which a man, who is deeply afflicted, bears to him, 
who has promised to assist him out of his trouble, is the med- 
ium that ties the oppressed to him who is his helper; the 
first cleaves with the greatest confidence to the latter. Sup- 
pose this troubled man being brought before a court of jus- 
tice; but his kind friend faithfully standing for him, and de- 
livering him from every imputation ; — the poor man accep- 
ting with the greatest thankfulness this assistance, not doubting 
that he could oe helped and not loosing his confidence in his 
friend, until he is helped, and entirely delivered from every 
charge. He has not merited this benefit by his ■ confidence, 
but he has merely accepted a benefit which he did not deserve 
at all. Thus it is with sinful man, when standing before the 
judgement seat of God. As long as he retains the firm con- 
fidence in his friend and Redeemer, that he has delivered 
him by his blood from condemnation, as long may he hope 
to be delivered from his misery, and if this confidence remains 
with him to his death, he will be saved even unto the end. 
But we have done nothing by this our faith, but received 
the grace which the Lord Jesus has offered unto us, and made 
the same our own, by a firm assurance. 

520. This, we are taught in scripture concerning 
the firm assurance of our faith ; John. 16, 33 : „in the world 
you have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome 
the world; Heb. 4, 16: „let us therefore come boldly 
unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find 
grace to help in time of need ; ibid. 10, 22 : „let us draw near 
with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
wrinkled'-'' etc. ; Ephes. 3, 12 : „in whom, (Christ) we have 
boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.'^ 

521. B. That by unbelief, justification is rendered invpos- 
sS)le, because by it men reject the grace of God and eternal 
life. Acts. 13, 46. Which proves that as unbelief is an ob- 
stacle to justification only by rejecting the same, and along 
Avith the same the grace of God, so on the other hand, is faith 



150 Chap. XIX, Of faith. 

a means of justification in that man, who does not reject the 
grace of God, but with due obedience accepts of it. 

522. This can be made clear by the following illustration. 
Suppose two felons being thrust into a prison for debt, where 
they would have to remain all ther lives, unless they found 
somebody to sympathize with them. But a certain rich, kind- 
hearted man, undertakes to pay the debts which they had 
contracted, and causes the communication to be made to the 
prisoners, that they have been released from prison, and that 
they were accordmgly at liberty to leave it. Suppose that 
one of the two prisoners believes this message to be true, 
and prepares himself immediately to leave the prison, to which 
there is no obstacle ; — but that the other cannot be induced to 
believe, that his debts have been disharged by another person, 
yea that he is bold enough to deny having ever been in 
debt, or, in case he confeses himself a debtor, he maintains 
being able to discharge every debt of his by his own powers 
and exertions; — o that he sets his hopes upon fiiends and 
aquaintances, to work out his deliverance, — thus putting no 
trust and confidence whatsoever in the abovenamed indivi- 
dual, who was said to h3.ve really discharged the debt of this 

Srisoner. Such a one must be said, to have rejected the par- 
on that had been wrought out for him, and to loose 
all the benefits of the same, and there would remain nothing 
for him, but to perish in his prison. 

523. Exactly the same is done by the unbelievers, who 
look upon the grace which has been given unto us through 
Christ, as an invention, or who have no desire to put their 
hope in Christ, but rather trust in the holiness of other men, 
or in their own works, and who are bold enough to maintain, 
that they had no sins whatsoever etc. Such must remain 
in their sins, and perish for ever; whilst others who ac- 
cept of the joyful message of the forgiveness of their sins as 
a truth, and put their confidence in Christ, the propitiator- of 
their sins, are freed from their miserable state and become 
heirs of eternal Salvation. 

524. From the arguments already produced, it will ap- 
pear that justification is not by any means to be ascribed to 
man as a virtue, but that it is nothing else than a fruit 
of faith ; Eom. 3 , 28 : „We conclude, that a man is justified 
b^ faith without the deeds of the law;" Galat. 2, 16: „kno- 
wing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but 
by the faith of Jesus Christ;" Eom. 4, 5: „to him that 
worketh not but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, 
his faith is counted for righteousness." Here we find nothing 
else but faith and works put in op{)osition to each other; nor 



Chap. XrX. Of faith. 151 

is there any where a third object spoken of having as any con- 
nection with Salvation. Now we find works expressly exclu- 
ded from the work of Salvation, and thus we find faith to be 
the only and proper source of Salvation. — We have to con- 
sider also (of. §. 479): 

525. c. the fruits of justification. They are twofold, viz : 
{<. the peace of conscience, so that he that is justified, has 

to fear no evil from God; as he formerly felt his cooscieftee 
burdened on account of his sin , so now, after his sins have 
been forgiven him, he lives in the enjoyment of peace and 
rest. Rom. 5, 1 : „being juiti^ed hy faith, we have peace with 
God throuyh our Lord Jesus Christ;" Bom. 8, 16: „the Spirit 
itselj beaai-eih witness with our spirit, that we are the children 
of God." 

526. 3. A new obidience, a godly life and good works, 
Rom. 6, 11: „IAkewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead 
indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Christ Jesus, our 
Lord." V. 13. „Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are 
alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of 
righteousness unto God;" v. 18: „being made firee from sin 
ye became the servants of righteousness ;" 20 fF. : „when ye 
were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness; 
what fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now 
ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now 
being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye 
have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." 
— And concerning faith, the Apostle writes, Galat. 5, 6: 
„faith worketh by love." 

527. It remains now for us to consider more especially 
the fruits which are produced by faith and righteousness con- 
jointly, namely the good works; and we have to inquire 

et. which works may really be called good works, 
p. whether such good works be perfect, 
y. wheter thm/ are necessary, 

d. whether they are entitled to a reward, and of which nature 
this reward may be. 
a. Good works may be called such works, as are perfor- 
med from a obedience and in accordance with the will and 
ordinances of God. 

f. Whether such good works be perfect. The good works, 
are the fruits of righteousness are imperfect, for 

528. iSm cleaves to every good work, which is polluted 
tlierebu. For all our righteousness is , according to Isa. 64, 6 
and Sirach 27, 5., like „fillhy rags." Rom. 7, 17: ,,to will 
is present with me; but now to perform thai which is good I 

find not, for the good that I would I do not: but the evil which 



152 Chap. XIX. Of good works. 

J would not, that I do;" v. 21: „I find then a law, that when 
I would ^o good, evil is present with me;" Gaiat. 5, 17: „For 
the flesh lusteth against the spirit" etc. 

529. Because along with the good works always evil works 
are performed. For nobody may say: „I have made myheart 
clean, I am pure fi:om my sin," Proverb 20, 9; lor „all have 
sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Rom. 3, 23 ; — 
every saint even must pray for forgiveness^ Pslm. 32, 6. And 
although some one did keep the whole law, and yet offend in 
one point, he is said to be guilty of all, James 2, 10; his 
obedience is of no avail, since God desires entire obedience. 
For every man is subject to the curse, who does not fulfill 
the whole law, Deut. 27, 26; Galat. 3, 10. 

y. As to the necessity of good works, we answer in the 
affirmative; but not so as if they did justify, or work out right- 
eousness, as has been proved already, but: 

That iy them Gods will, which requires of us good works 
might be, as much as possible, obeyed. God commands us, 
Coloss. 1, 10: „Walk worthy of the Lord imto all pleasing, 
heiag fruitful in every good work ;^ 1. Pet. 2, 24: „Who (Christ) 
bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being 
dead to sins, should live unto rigMeousness;'-'- Titus 3, 8: 
„The8e things I vAW that thou affirm constantly, that they 
which have believed in God might be careful to maintain 
good works."' 

531. That after God has adopted us as His people. His 
name might be, by our good loorks, gloried amongst all nations, 
and others also be induced to godliness; Matth. 5, 16: 
„Let your light so shine before men, that they might see your 
good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven." 

532. That we might not again pollute ourselves with works 
of unrighteousness, and thus bring down upon us the wrath of 
God and eternal condemnation; 2. Pet. 2, 20. 22: „the latter 
end is worse with them than the beginning; it has happend unto 
them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned etc.; 
Rom. 8, 13 : „for if ye live after the flesh , ye shall die : but 
if ye, through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye 
shall live;" 1. Cor. 6, 9: „know ye not that the unrighteous 
shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither 
fornicators, nor idolaters etc. shall inherit the kingdom of 
heaven." 

533. That the reward promised to good works might not 
be lost by us. Good works have their reward, as well in this 
world, as also in that to come; Isa. 3, 10: „Say ye to the 
righteous, that it shall be well with him, for they shall eat 
the fruit of their doings;" 1. Timot. 4, 8: „Godliness is profi- 



Chap. XIX. Of good works. 153 

table unto all things, having the promise of the life that now 
is, and of that which is to come."' 

Godliness has great promises, with reference to the life 
that now is; Isa. 1, 19: „If ye be willing and obedient, ye 
shall eat the good of the land;"' Eccles. 2, 26:' j,God giveth a 
man that is good in His sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and 
joy.'-' And God blessed (Deut. 28, 1 fF.) the children, of Israel 
as follows : „And it shall come to pass if thou shalt hearken 
diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, these blessings 
shall come on thee, and overtake thee; blessed shalt thou be in 
the ci^y, and blessed, shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall 
be the iruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the 
fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of 
thy sheep; blessed shall be thy basket and thy stone; blessed 
shalt thou be wheif*thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be 
when thou goest out." 

534. Godliness with reference to the life to come, has 
the following promises: Isa. 57, 1: „The righteous perisheth 
and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken 
away, none considering, that the righteous is taken away from, 
the evil to come; he shall enter into peace: they shall rest in 
their beds;"- Proverb 10, 7: „the memory of the just is bles- 
sed;'-' 1. Cor. 3, 8: „every man shall receive his own reward 
according to his oion labour;"- 2. Cor. 5, 10: „We must all 
appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one 
may receive the things done in his body, according to that he 
hath done, whether it be good or bad." 1. Cor. 4, 5: „until 
the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things 
of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: 
and then shall every man have praise of God;"- Matth. 19, 29 : 
„every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethern, or sisters, 
or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my 
name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit ever- 
lasting life." 

535. But this reward is not to be looked upon, as being 
given by God as a reward, which bis justice might induce 
him to bestow upon us, for the sake of our good works. 
No, it is, and remains an undeserved reward, a gift of 
God's grace and mercy. Thus a father rewards, from mere 
parental love, with a special gift that obedience of his child, 
which he is bound in duty to yield to him; his parent 
might as well not have rewarded him at all. In the same 
way God rewards, out of mere fatherly kindness, without his 
being bound to do so', our godliness and piety. For, in the first 
iJace there is not a saint upon earth, who durst ask from 
God his daily bread as his due, as if he had deserved it ; on 



154 Chap. XIX. Of good works. 

the contrary he mast pray and ash for it, „Our father who 
art in heaven,' give us day by day our daily bread." And se- 
condly there is not one ■Who never had occasion to confess with 
Jacob : „ J am not worthy of the least of all the mercies , and 
of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant," 
Genes. 32, 10; and with Paul: „who hath first given to him 
(God) and it shall be recompensed unto him again?"' Rom. 11, 35. 
536. Now the circumstance that the scriptures neverthe- 
less promises man, that his good works should meet with a 
reward, can be sufficiently explained by the fact, that a reward 
though undeserved, is still a reward. Thus God speaks to. 
Abr^am : „I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward," 
Genes. 17; it will be admitted that Abraham never could 
deserve such a reward. Pslm. 127, 3: „Lo children are an 
heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his great 
reward." — The same is implied whenever the prophets speak 
of a reward, and it is for this reason, the Psalmist calls it 
„God's reward." 



155 



Chapter XX. 

Uod converts the repenting sinner, that his understanding might be enhghle- 
ned for the purposes of the loiowledge of God and of His merciful will; 
and that all his energies might be turned from sin unto God and His love, 
to obedience and justification , and that he might as much as possible walk 
in accordance with God's will. 



537. With reference to conversion the following points 
are to be considered; 

a. the nature of conversion, 

b. God, who works the conversion, 

c. Man who becomes converted, and 

d. The fruit of conversion. 

538. a. The nature of conversion; this change is described to 
take place, when men are pricked in' their hearts. Acts. 2, 37; 
when their hearts are smitten, 2 Samuel 24, 10; when their 
hearts are opened, so that they attend unto the word of God 
Acts. 16, 14; Avhen the stony heart is taken out of them, and 
a new and pure heart given them, when a new and a free 
spirit is put within them, and they thus become the people 
of God and walk in His statutes, Hesek. 11,39; 36,26; Pslm. 
51, 12. 

539. Thus we learn that by the term conversion the 
following act is implied. If there be men having their under- 
standing' darkened, Deing alienated from the life of God through 
the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their 
heart, Ephes. 4, 18. being in their stubbornness, enmity and dis- 
obedience far from God, — then they are enlightened by Christ, 
the great light of the world, John. 1, 9; so that, having for- 
merly been darkened they are now a light in the Lord, Ephes. 
5, 8. and walk in the light, John. 12, 35. 36; doing deeds that 
may be made manifest; casting oflF the works of darkness, 
and putting on the armour of life, walking honestly as in the 
day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wan- 
tonness, not in strive and envying, but putting on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, Bom. 13, 12. 13. Ajid like as, previous to their 
conversion, they had turned away from God, so after the 
same has taken place, they return with humUe obedience, sub- 
jection, confidence and love to him. In the same measure as 
they used to have a desire for the earthly, so they have it 
now for heavenly things ; and like as they formerly delighted in 



156 Chap. XX. Of conversion. 

doing evil, in the same mefisure they now hate and flee sin; 
loving the truth they had become acquainted with, and re- 
joicing in the same, bemg attached to it, yield obedience to the 
same as far us in them lies. 

540. b. God, who works conversion; more especially 

a. His part in this transaction. This will appear from the 
fact that God is the originator of every good and perfect gift, 
James. 1, 17: „not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think 
any thing as of ourselves, our sufficiency is of God," 2 Cor. 3, 
5. Thus He is, in our conversion, the beginning and the end, 
as also the only source of it. Jerem. 31, 18: „turn thou me, 
and I shall be turned;" John. 6, 44: „no man can coine to 
me except the Father which hath sent me to draw him;" 
v. 29 : „this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom 
he hath sent;" Philip. 2, 13: „for it is God who worteth in 
you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure;"- Acts. 15, 9: 
„God purifies their hearts by faith ;" 2 Thess. 3, 5 : „the Lord 
direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient 
waiting for Christ." — God is said to originate the good 
work m us, and to finish it, Philip. 1, 5; He is „the author 
and finisher of our faith." Heb. 12, 2. — ' 

541.' j9. What it is that induces God to convert men? The 
whole work of our Salvation has its source only in God's 
mercy, and if it is asked what it is that induces God to con- 
vert us, we answer that there is no other reason but his mercy and 
lovingkindness. As God's grace and man's merits cannot 
stand together, we conclude that God, in the work oft 
conversion does pay no regard to man's virtue, worth or merits, 
as if by them He was induced to convert him. Thus we read 
of the shepherd bringing home his lost sheep, quite without 
any des.erving on the part of the^ latter, Luk. 15, 4. 5; of the 
woman that seeks the lost penny' under the same circumstan- 
ces, V. 8. As also that the king in preparing the marriage 
feast for his son, and the Lord for his evening meal, are in- 
viting the poor, the maimed, the halt and the blind to come 
aJQd join him, Matth. 22, 9; Luk. 14, 21. It is exactly in 
the same way that God calls, leads and turns us to Himself; 
"I'^^'^^h^less we are unable to deserve anything in the sight 
E r^"*^' ^'l*"-^*^™^! condemnation as the Apostle exclaims, 
phes. 2, 4. 5: „But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great 
TJ' ^'^f'^'"'^) ^\ h<^th loved us, even when we were dead in 

' tS" ,^"'1«««'^ ^^ together with Christ." 
542. We have to consider • 

to obse^e'^' "^^ *'"'""'* oonverted; in which respect we have 

«. whut men are able to do towards thdr converdm, 



Chap. XX. Of conversion. 157 

(3. what they are unable to do towards it, 
y. the conditions, by which they are fitted to conversion, 
a. The ■preparations men can make towards their conversion, 
are of a t\\ofold kind. There are some that proceed conver- 
sion, and may be called outward actions; others again that essen- 
tially belong to consersion, which may be called inward actions. 

543. As outward actions are to be considered : the hearina 
of the word of God; the hearing it with diligence and with 
the^fm-pose to be taught by it; and seriously considering the 
subjeet matter of it. This is to be proved by testimonies and 
instances from scripture. 

Testimonies we find when St. Paul writes concerning false 
teachers: „that they are ever learning, never coming to the 
truth," 2 Timot, 3, 7 ; and of the Israelites, Eom. 9, 31 : „Is- 
rael, which follo'^ed after the law of rigtheousness , hath not 
attained to the law of righteousness, for they stumbled at that 
stumbling block." — Concerning the time of the babylonian 
captivity Amos says: 8, 11. 12: „behold, the days come, 
saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not 
a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the 
words of the Lord; they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the 
north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the 
word of the Lord, and shall not find it." 

544. Instances of that description we meet with in the 
history of Herod, who liked to listen to the preaching of John 
the baptist, and in many instances obeyed him ; in the history 
of Sergius, the Eoman governor, who sent for Barnabas, desi- 
ring to hear the word of God, Acts. 22, 7. As also in our 
days many people hear the word of God, with the purpose of 
attending to the contents and teaching of the same, and to whom 
nevertheless it becomes a savour of death unto death, 2 Cor, 
2, 16; for „the God of this world hath blinded the minds of 
them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel 
of Christ shine upon them." 

545. |3. What men are not able to do with reference to their 
conversion ? this question leads us to speak of those inward actions 
which essentially belong to conversion. Such are: that man 
cannot enlighten his own mind; that he cannot turn his heart 

from evil, and bring it to good-, in order hencefor- 
ward to love God and godliness, and hate and abjure sin. In 
this respect no man is able to make even a beginning to- 
wards conversion, much less carry it on and accomplish it; 
for: 

546. We are not able to perform works even of less consi- 
deration; „Thou canst not make a hair white or black, Matth. 
5, 36: — No man could undertake to change anything 



158 Chap. XX. Of conversion. 

within him, as hia brain, liver etc., „which of you by taking 
thought, can add a cubit unto his stature?" Matth. &, 27. 
And if man is not even able to perform such an insignificant 
work, how can he be expected to bring a change intohis 
soul, his will and his reason, so as to turn them from inclina- 
tions, with which they have been born. 

547- The Holy Scriptures expressly deny that man ever 
performs good and spiritual works, especially such as tend to- 
wards conversion and salvation, thereby evidencing: 

X. That we are not able to do any good thing; as Christ 
says, John. 15, 5: ^vjiihout me ye can do nothing." And a 
corrupt tree, can it bring forth good fruit? Matth. 7, 18; and 
are we not every one among us by nature corrupt trees? for 
„every imagination of the thoughts of our heart are only evil 
continually," Genes. 6, 5; 8, 21. 

n. That we are not able to speak any thing good; Matth. 
12, 34: „Can ye, being evil, specdi good? for out of the abun- 
dance of the heart the mouth speaketh;" 1. Cor. 12, 3: „no 
man can say tliat Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 

J. That we are not even able to think any thmg good; 
2, Cor. 3, 5: „Not that we are sufficient of oursdves to 
think any thing of ourselves." From all which we conclude, 
that an individual, that cannot even do, speak or think good, 
cannot be said to be able to perform anything towards his 
own conversion; for to this purpose, he would need good 
thoughts and works. 

548. 8. The conditions which make Jit for conversion. That 
some men remain unconverted is to be considered as their 
own fauU. Suppose a conscientious and diligent teacher who 
is anxious to change his pupils from being ignorant to being 
learned, and to turn them from vice unto virtue, and who 
does not spare any pains, to accomplish this end." Neverthe- 
less his disciples do not all profit by his anxiety: and that 
not as a consequence of the master being at fault, but be- 
cause of his pupils not chosing to listen to him, but laughing 
to scorn his injunctions think themselves to be wiser than he; 
whereupon they join evil society, by the example of wHch 

they are misled, and remain in ignorance and vice. Exactly 

so God, on his part, is doing his best for the Salvation of all 
men, and is anxious not to have lost even one from amongst 
them, and it is to all men that He addresses the words He once 
spoke to Israel „Now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem , and men of 
Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard ; what 
could have been done more to the vineyard, that I have not 
done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring 
forth graps, brought it forth wild grapes," Isa. 5,-3. 4. 



Chap. XX. Of conversion. 1<^ 

549. That man might be fit for conversion, it is requisite 
for him 

1. to determine hearing the word of God for the ■puirpose 
of being converted by it. ¥ov to him the word is still foohsh- 
ness, and he cannot perceive in what manner the preaching 
of the Slime might tend to his Salvation, 1. Cor. 2, 14. Eom. 
8, 7 : „the carnal mind is enmity against God." For if any 
man could have, by himself such a good intention, then he 
would be able to think something good by himseF, which we 
have seen disproved 2. Cor. 3, 5. In such a case he would 
have the will to do that good, which God alone works, Phil. 2, 13. 

550. 2. Much less is it necessary for him to dispose him- 
self by good works, for conversion, which also appears impos- 
sible from the reasons adduced above; and it avouH therefore 
be impossible for* any man to be saved. Besides conversion 
is performed some what Uke as a fish caught by the net, and 
drawn out of the water, Matth. 4, 19: to which the fish can- 
not be said to dispose himself. Nor was this the case with 
the mahfactor, who was crucified along with the Lord Jesus, 
Luk. 22, 42; or with the centurion, who was standing by the 
cross, Matth. 27, 54; or with the keeper of the prison, who 
had the care of Paul and Silas, Acts 16, 29 ff. — All these 
things are therefore not required of man, on account of his con- 
version. 

551. Bui this one and great thing is required of him, that 
in hearing the word he might not throw any wilfull obstacles 
into the way of the divine working. It is true that by nature 
we are disinclined to this divine work, and that the word of God 
is foolishness unto us, 1. Cor. 2, 14. But yet this natural 
obstinacy is not able to hinder any man from efifectually liste- 
ning to the word, because in this way nobody would be 
saved. Such wilful hindrances, which every one opposes to 
the divine work, are partly outwardly , or such as hinder the 
necessary preparations. As, for instance, if one lives in per- 
fect security, caring but for his daily food, and living only 
for his enjoyment, despises the word of God. Such a one 
can never come to be converted, since he stifles the word of 
God, so that it can bear no fruit within him, Luk. 8, 14; 
14, 18. Yea they are responsible even for the neglect with which, 
when hearing something of the word of God, they treated the 
same, and for their not trymg to understand it, whilst they, 
on the other hand, did shun no pain or trouble or danger if toe 
gain of wordly goods was concerned. — There are also inward 
obstacles which hinder those works which are essentially 
necessary to conversion: viz 

552. a. Atheism, when namely the fool saith in his heart 



160 Chap. XX. Of Conversion. 

^,there is no God." For every one, who has plunged into an 
ungodly life to such an extent, as not any more to consider 
God, has fallen into the snares of the devil, 2. Timot. 2, 26. 

553. ^. Old oppinions, that have grown up with us. Thus, 
for instance, the Jews have set their heart upon a Messiah 
that was to establish an earthly kingdom and rule over them; 
and as long as they do not dismiss this thought they cannot 
possibly come to Jesus of Nazareth, whose kingdom is not of 
this world. 

554. y. The authority of people in high station of life. In 
this way the Pharisees hindred their servant from coming to 
the Lord Jesus, John. 7, 47flf. : „Then answered them the 
Pharisees, are ye also deceived? have any of the rulers or of 
the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth 
not the law are cursed." — And by this means also many among 
the papists, slthough the see the light, are prevented from co- 
ming to the truth. For the Pope, the Cardinals, Bishops and 
king hold closely together, and stand in great reputation be- 
fore the world ; — whilst in the lutheran church no" such autho- 
rity is admitted. 

555. 8. A too great anxietufor the food of the body, for en- 
joyments and earthly honours. This same sort of care preven- 
ted the n'cA man from being converted, Luk. 16, 19; as also the 
young ruler from selling all that he possessed and giving it to 
the poor, as he was bid to do by the Lord Jesus. He went 
away, we are told, sorrowful: for he had great possession, 
Matth. 19, 21. 22; as did also Demas who forsook the Lord, 
because he had loved this present world, 2. Timot. 4, 10. — 
And many there are in our days, who, prevented by their 
authority, importance, and other enjoyments, are kept fi-om 
turning to a truth, they are perfectly aware of. 

556. e. The imaginations of our own reason. If we desire 
to follow Christ, then we must bring into captivity every 
thought to the obedience of Christ, 2. Cor. 10, 5. But every ' 
one who allows himself to be guided by his own reason can- 
not be converted, unless he abstains from it. Thomas, who 
rejected the doctrine concerning the resurrection of Christ, re- 
mained in unbehef until his reason had been brought into 
captivity to the obedience of Christ, John. 20, 25. 27; 28. 

557. ^._ The^ refusal of the divine working. K the 
holy Ghost is beginning the work of conversion in man, but 
the latter dismisses every thought of it, or has no desire 
to hear of it, thus rejecting the truth, which he had even now 
become aquainted with, — then of course the^ work of conver- 
sion cannot §o on. Such an instance we meet with in the 
history of king Agrippa. He, after having heard Paul's 



Chap. XX. Of Conversion. 161 

preaching said: „Almost thou persuadest me to be a christian." 
But the instant Paul required nim to be converted , Agrippa 
rose up and went away, thus quenching the spark of faith, 
the Holy Ghost had lit up within bim, Acts 26, 28 ff. 

558. t]. The toilful dmial, yea even persecution of the known 
truth. Many men come even the length of being convinced, 
within their heart, that that, which they have heard is heavenly, 
eternal truth. But if a man has no inclination to confess the 
same, then he tries to contradict and to persecute the doctrine, 
which he had been convinced to be truth. With reference to 
such an individual almost all hope for conversion is lost. The 
like people were the Pharisees, who saw, and were convin- 
ced that the Lord Jesus was a teacher come from God, that 
his teaching was ^unexceptionable, that nobody could work 
such miracles except God be with him, John. 3, 2. Never- 
theless they persecuted him, his words and his works; not being 
satisfied until they had brought him to the cross. By this 
they hearkened their hearts, and blasphemed the Holy Ghost, 
as the Lord Jesus told them himself, Matth. 12, 31. 32. — 
Stephen admonishes them Acts. 7, 51 : „ Ye stiffnecked and 
uncireumcised in heart and ears, ye do always redst the holy 
Ghost; as your fathers did so do ye." 

From what has been said above, it will appear, that man, 
if he desires to be instructed by the Holy Ghost, must enti- 
rely remain inactive; as also, that if once convinced ^f the 
truth nothing in the world ought to draw him from it, and 
that he should allow himself to be led by the Holy Ghost. 
Then he will be fit for conversion. 

559. The question as to how it is, that, in the whole, but 
a few men are converted, every one will easily answer himself 
when attending to that which has been stated already. For 
although it is true, that man can do nothing for Ihe furthe- 
rance of his conversion, yet he may do a great deal to hinder 
it. It is true that he cannot work out his own conversion, 
but it is as true, that he can hinder his being converted. 
Suppose a man falling* ill, then he cannot cure himself; but 
he can easily put an obstacle in the way of his recovery, in 
that he does not obey the injunctions of his medical adviser, 
and, casting from him his medicines, does every thing to aug- 
ment his sickness. Or suppose a man, who has fallen 

into a deep hole, and on a rope being cast to him, by means 
of which he might be pulled up again, it is quite possible for such 
a one to reject this help, thus denying the help, by which he 
might be rescued. Now just as it is sufficient for a patient 
to submit himself to the injunctions of his Doctor, and not to 
withstand them, — or for one who has fallen in to a pit, in 

11 



162 Chap. XX. Of conversion. 

order to be pulled up again , merely to allow himself to be 
drawn up, where in both cases they have merely pas- 
sively to subject themselves, — so it is sufficient for man, in 
his conversion not to withstand the Holy Ghost, but to allow 
him to work out his conversion, although he cannot do the 
least thing towards it. 

560. d. The fruits of conversion. These are partly identical 
with those of repentance and of justification, viz : God's mercy 
and lovingkindness , peace of conscience , improvement of 
life, new obedience and good works. For he wno is conver- 
ted loves God, and accordingly also his fellowmen, gives 
unto God the obedience due to Him, serving Him wherever 
he can; but unto his neighbour he does all thing whatsoever 
he wisheth they should do unto him, Matth. 7, 12. 

561. Another kind of fruit of conversion is the liberty of 
marCs will. For even so as his will has not been free before 
his conversion to do whatever is good, so, after his con- 
version this gift is given him by the Holy Ghost. Eom. 6, 
12. 13: „Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that 
ye should obey it in the lusts thereof; mt yield yourselves unio 
God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members 
as instruments of righteousness unto God;" Bom. 8, 13. l4: 
„if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body^ ye 
shall live; for as many as are led' by the Spirit of God, th&) 
are the Sons of God." 

562. But as, whilst upon earth, every thing is imperfect, 
the liberty of the converted man itself is- also imperfect i and 
not without its trials. Whereby many a good thing is hindred, 
and much evil promoted, as the Apostle himself complains, 
Rom. 7, 14 ff.; Galat. 5, 17. 



163 



Chapter XXI. 



The converted man is renewed by God, so that he might be transferred 
from a state of sinfulness , into the state of original purity , justice and 

holiness. 



563. The renewing and the regeneration are m no respect 
different from each other. Both are figurative significations; 
the first referring to the renewal of a thing that has been 
old; the second to, the bringing back of sinful man to the 
state he formerly occupied;; The latter expression is also 
made use of in scripture as a figure, referring to the natural 
birth; and as both are frequ^iltly employed in scripture, 
we thought proper, in this place, to say a few words about 
them. 

564. In speaking of renewing, three things are generally 
referred to. Just as we do with an old building; for we 
say, first, that the house has been new; secondly, that it 
has become old and rotten; and thirdly, that it has been re- 
newed, to the appearance it had when new. 

Thus by the renewal of man three things are pointed 
at: viz 

a. the stale of perfectness in which he had been created, 
which he has lost, and into which he has been renewed 
again; 

b. the state of sin, into which he has fallen, and out of which 
he is to be redeemed; and 

c. the state of conversion, into which he is to be brought by 
renewing. 

565. Scripture points by the expression: renewing 

a. to the state (yF perfectness-, in which man has been crea- 
ted as the image of. God, Col. 3, 10:' „put on the new man, 
which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that 
created him;" Ephes. 4, 23. 24: „be renewed in the spirit of 
your mind; that ye put on the new man, which after God is 
created in righteousness and true holiness." 

b. To the state of sin , out of which it is intended to re- 
lieve man, Eom. 6, 6: „knowing this, that our old man is 
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, 
that henceforth we should not serve sin;'-' 1. Cor. 5, 7. 8: 5,purge 
out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as 
ye are unleavened. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with 

11* 



164 Chap. XXI. Of man's renewing. 

old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, 
but with unleavend bread of sincerity and truth;" iSphes. 4, 
22 : „put off concerning the former conversation the old man, 
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;'! Coloss. 
3, 9 : „put off the old- man with his deeds.'-' 

c. the state of conversion: Galat. 6, 15: „In Christ neither 
circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a 
new creatwre;'' 2 Cor. 5, 17 : „if any man be in Christ, he is 
a n£w creature, old things are passed away; behold all things 
are become new ;" Hom. 6, 4 : „like as Christ was raised up 
from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we should 
waSfc also in newness of life. 

566. The renewing of man we find accordingly to be a deli- 
vering of man from his • sinftd state, a restoration to the state he 
has formerly been in ; for the purpose that he might know God, 
put off sin from his mind and his members, and praise and 
^erve God in true holiness. and righteousness. 



165 
Chapter XXII. 

Converled men arc born again by God, not by essentially changing their 

nature, but by mortifying their sinful passions, and evil deeds, and by 

stirring up all human energies to holy works and to a new life. 



567. Regeneration has been compared to the natural birth. 
As man is born from his parents, so ne is, as it were, spiritu- 
ally born anew, or a second time, by God. For which rea- 
son the latter act is not called simply a hirth, but a new birth, 
or regeneration. 

Concerning regeneration three things are to be considered 
viz : 

a. that it is not implying any essential change of the re- 
generated ; 

c. the nature of regeneration, and what it consists of, 
and 

c. that those who are regenerated may fall again from 
their happy state, into sin, and perish in the same for ever. 

568. a. RegeneraMon is ngt implying any essential change 
of the regenerated. It is true, that tHe natural birth gives man 
his essential character, and we are also told, that by regene- 
ration we put on a new man and a new creature. Never- 
theless can the latter act not be said to infer an essential 
change in man, as if, by his spiritual birth, he was not to 
retain a body, like that of Adam, but be gifted with one 
like that of Jesus Christ. For 

569. a. those who are regenerated are still said always to 
be renewed. But a new building that has been raised in the 
place of the one pulled down, cannot be said to have been rene- 
wed, — an appellation only appHable to one, the essentials of 
which have remained, and that has but put on a new and im- 
proved appearance. Exactly so it is in the case of man's re- 
generation; for by it he is renewed, not by any essential change 
taking place with his substance, but by his becoming better 
in the sight of God, and putting on a more pleasing appea- 
rance. 

670. §. because in the regenerated man there is still al- 
ways something to be found, that has remained from his for- 
mer state of sin. For there is no man that can be said to live 
so pure and holy, that sin should not cleave to him. Nobody 
can say : I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin," 
Prover. 20, 9. We read in Isa. 64, 6: „We are all as an 



166 XXn. Of regeneration. 

unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags." 
Now if regeneration did essentially change human nature, than 
there could not possibly be room within it, for evil desires 
and others sins. 

571. y. The flesh is continually warring against the spi- 
rit, within the regenerated man, Galat. 5, 17. Now for a 
war two parties are required, and as we find within the 
regenerated man a war going on between the spirit of God 
and between the flesh, it is evident that, in the regenerated 
man, there is to be found not only the Spirit of God, or spi- 
ritual things, but also sinful flesh. 

572. 8. Because the regenerated men do not have , children 
that are by nature holy. On the contrary th,ey conceive and 
bare children as other people do, whose thoughts are evil from 
their youth. Now if the nature df regenerated men was chan- 
ged in such a manner, that nothing earthly could stick to 
them, but all within them be heavenly, how could such a pure 
and holy nature be said to beget sinful children ? 

573. £. To the regenerated the same words are applied 
as Is to all those, who, according to Adam, are of flesh and 
blood. Thus the regenerated David says, Pslm. 51, 5 : „Behold 
I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive 
me." This proves David to have got stiU the same body with 
him, as was the case at the time, he was born. And the re- 
generated Paul writes Galat. 1, 13, that he persecuted the 
church; from which we infer that he, after his body, was still 
the same as formerly, when persecuting the church of God ; 
and that by being regenerated, his nature had not been essen- 
tially changed. 

574. b. The nature of regeneration, and what it consits of. 
In this respect we have to observe 

a. Mortification of the sinful nature. This does not mean 
to say that the members of the body were to be subjected to 
mortification: but that they are to be made captive to the 
obedience of Christ, 1 Cor. 10, 5; that sin should have no 
more dominion in our members, but that they should be hence- 
forth members of righteousness, Eom. 6, 12. 13; that they 
who are Christ's should crucify the flesh with the affections 
and lusts, Galat 5, 24; that sin should not be allowed any 
dominion over them, but be subdued. Genes. 4, 7; that 
they shoidd abstain from fleshly lusts, that war against 'the 
som, 1 Peter, 2, 11. By aU which exertions the human ener- 
gies, that are inclined to sin are curbed, weakened, kept down, 
yea, as it were, killed,, routed out and cast away; as the 
Lord Jesus speaks of the same subject, Matth. 5, 29. 30; 
18, 8. 9. For thereby the members of the body are forbidden 



Chap. XXII. Of regeneration. 167 

to perform sinful works, as if they were altogether mortified 
indeed. It is with reference to this state, that Paul speaks of 
himself, Galat. 6, 14 : the world is crucified unto me and I unto 
the world ;"■ meaning that the lusts and enjoyments of this world 
did matter so little to him, as if he had a crucified and dead 
body. This is the one part of regeneration , viz , that every 
thing sinful, which we have inherited from our parents should 
be spiritually dead to us. 

575. |3. The second part consists in the awakening of the 
soul and of all its powers to an activity with which God is well 
pleased. Every one who is not performing some sort of work, 
IS like a dead body; and accordingly as we are by nature 
unfit for any thing that is good, the Holy Ghost designates us 
as „dead,"' Ephes. 2, 1 ; Coloss. 2, 13 : „when ye were dead 
in trespasses and "sins." Now if God imparts unto us the 
ability of doing whatever is good and spiritual, then he makes us 
alive, and by becoming alive, we are able to perform good 
works. 

576. Our reason is made alive by being turned fi-om our 
natural blindness and ignorance to the knowledge of God, 
Coloss. 3, 10; by beginning to be able to discern and to 
judge the things of the spirit, 1 Cor. 2, 15; by being able to 
know God, although at this time but as in a glass darkly, 1 
Cor. 13, 12. 

577. Our will is made alive, in that God gives unto_ us, in 
the room of this stony heart a heart of flesh, that we might do 
His will, Hezek. 11, 19. 20 ; in granting unto as a pure heart, 
and a new spirit , Pslm. 51, 12 ; our mind is renewed, 
and we walk in righteousness and true holiness, Ephes. 4, 23. 
44; and our minds are converted, that we turn to serve the 
living God, waiting for his Son from heaven, 1 Thess. 1, 
9. 10. 

578. Our inward and outward powers are made alive, in 
that we present our bodies a Uving sacrifice, holy and accep- 
table unto God, Eom. 12, 1 ; when we walk in newness of 
life, Eom. 6, 4; when we keep the feast, with the unleavened 
bread of sincerity and truth, 1 Cor. 5. 8. 

579. To such a spiritual We the Holy Ghost is, what the 
soul is to the natural life. For thus we are born again by 
the Holy Ghost, John. 3, 5 ; wherever the soul is in iiiU ac- 
tivity, there is life, and likewise where the Holy Ghost is, 
there is also life and salvation, „as many as are led by the 
Spirit of God, they are the sons of God," Eom, 8, 14. By 
this act therefore we find the whole mind of man, as well as 
all the powers of the body and the soul to have undergone 
an entire change, so that as he has formerly been dead to 



168 Chap. XXII. Of regeneration. 

every. good work, he now is alive to and busied with- them; 
and as nfi has been formerly alive to evil and to the committal of 
the same, he is now entirely dead to it. A man of this des- 
cription is, as it were horn again, and has become quite a/nother 
man, as the scriptures speak concerning Saul „the Spirit of 
the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with 
them, and shalt he turned into another man,^'- 1 Sam. 10, 6; 
not as if his substance had become another, but his life and 
purposes have been changed. 

580. c. Constancy and perseverance in the state of regenera- 
tion.. The scriptures contain many precious promises on the 
part of God, that the faithful are not to be rejected from His 
presence. „Though he (the good man) fall, he shall not be 
utterly cast down : for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand," 
Pslm. 37, 24: „I give unto them eternal life; and they shall 
never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my 
hand, John. 10, 28. — This has led some to the conclusion^ 
that such men, as have once been regenerated, could pot pos- 
sibly again turn from the grace of God, fall in unbelief and 
thus perish. It is therefore our duty to consider this point 
more clearly: 

581. K With regard to God, we know that He, on His 
part, is doing every thing, that the believer might remain in 
his faith. For He calls, teaches, admonishes, warns and threa- 
tens him, in order that the commenced work might not be 
destroyed again. That this is the case is evident from the fact 
which has been proved already : viz, that, if all men are not 
saved, the fault is in nowise to be laid with God. 

582. 3- The reason for the believer's not always perseve- 
ring in his faith, is solely to be sought on the part of man. 
Thus we are entitled to the conclusion, that as long as the 
believer chngs to God, and does not turn from him as "long 
will he not be cast away from God's presence. For as long 
as man clings to his God, no power on earth is able to 
wrench him from this stronghold. 

583. 3- God has, in this respect, not left the believers 
without means, but has given them His word, and they can ne- 
ver be turned away from salvation as long as they take this 
word for their guide. But as soon as they desert this 
guide (and that is not at all impossible) then it is possible 
for them to fall from their state of aegeneration. — It is just 
like a father leading his child a very impracticable track, 
upon which it would impossible for the latter to proceed by 
himself. The father is giving him comfort : you cannot fall, 
for I keep you with my hand! now as long as the child re- 
tains the hold of his father's hand, he will be sure not to fall. 



Chaj). XXn. Of regeneration. 169 

But suppose him leaving his father's hand, out of mere wantonness 
or confidence of his' own strength, his destruction will be in- 
evitable. In spite of this, the words of warning and comfort 
his father had formerly addressed to the same would be con- 
sidered to have been truth; the child could not fall as long 
as he allowed himself to be guided by his father, but, ceasing 
this precaution, he might be destroyed. — Exactly so it is 
with regenerated man : he cannot fall from his state of salva- 
tion as long as he submits himself to the guidance of God 
and His word, (which is, as it were, His arm). This can be 
proved by the fact 

584. 1. that scripture eaepressly teaches, that some of the re- 
generated may fall away again, Luk. 8, 13: „They on the 
rock are they, which when they hear, receive the word with 
joy ; and these have no root, which for awhile believe, and in 
time of terriptationfall away," 

585. 2. thai God promises salvation to such as remain sted- 
fast unto the end; Matth. 10, 22: „he that endureth to the end 
shall be saved;" Heb. 3, 14: „We are made partakers of 
Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence unto the 
end." Now if all believers did remain stedfast in their faith, 
and there was no danger of their falling away; there would 
have been no occasion for its being aluded to as a necessary, 
yet, with regard to man, doubtful condition. 

586. 3. We are admonished to be careful of not falling 
away; 1. Cor. 9, 24: „Run, that ye may obtain;" ibid. 10, 12: 
„let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall; 
Revel. 2, 10: „be thou faithful unto death and I will give 
thee life; ibid. 3, 11: „hold that fast which thou hast, that 
no inan take thy crown." — Now it is in no way necessary for 
a man to be admonished to persevere in retaining a thing , which 
he is in no danger whatsoever of loosing. And as regenerated 
man is admonished in scripture to constancy, it proves that 
it is possible for such a one to fall from his blessed state. 

587. 4. God reveales his wrath over all those regenerated 
who have fallen from grace, Ezek. 8, 24: „When the right- 
eous turneth away from his righteousness and comitteth ini- 
quity , and doeth all the • abominations that the wicked man 
doeth, shall he life? All his righteousness that he hath done 
shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, 
and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die."- Eom. 
II, 20. 21: „thou standest hy faith; be not highminded, but 
fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed 
lest he also spare not thee;" 2. Peter 2, 20. 21: „if after they 
have escaped the pollutions of the world through the know- 
ledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again 



170 Chap. XXn. Of regeneration. 

ejitaagled therein, and overconie, the latter end is worse with 
them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not 
to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have 
known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto 
them." Heb. 6, 4. ff.: „For it is impossible for those who 
were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, 
and were made partakers of the holy Ghost, and have tasted 
the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 
if they shall fall away to renew them again unto repentance." 

An exhortation St. Paul had been mindful of m a great 
measure, when he writes concerning himself; „I keep imder 
pay body, and bring it into subjection: lest that hy any means, 
when I have preached toothers, I m,y self should be a cast away," 
1 Cor. 9, 27. 

588. We find recorded in scripture express instances of such 
as have, after their regeneration, fallen away a^ain. — Thus we 
read that Aaron, though having been regenerated, has yet com- 
mitted sin, in raising an idol to the people, Exod. 32, 4, 5. 21; 
that David committed adultery and murder upon Urian^ and 
his wife, after having been regenerated, 2 Sam. 12, 7. 9. Peter, 
although he was a disciple of the Lord Jesus and in a rege- 
nerated state, has yet fallen away, in that he denied his master, 
Matth. 26, 69. ff. Hymeneus and Alexander also, having put 
away faith and a good conscience, made shipwreck concer- 
ning their faith, and were consequently delivered unto Satan 
by Paul, Timet. 1, 19. 20. Hymeneus and Philetus are said 
to have subverted the faith, in teaching that the resurrection 
had taken place already, 2 Timot. 2, 18. — Now the same 
that happened to the abovementioned individuals, may also 
happen to every one who is regenerated. 



171 



Chapter XXIII. 

Like as converted men, by reigeneratioD, become the children of God, so also 
are Ihey engrailed into the Lord Jesus, and become members of bis spiri- 
tual body. 



689. The Lord Jesus Christ has a natural human body, 
which he took upon himself from the virgin Mary. With this 
body it was that he ascended into heaven, and appeared unto 
Stephen; and with the same body he shall appear again vi- 
sibly on the last^ay, Acts. 1, 11. 

The believers moreover and the assembly of the same are 
called Christs body^ Eom. 12, 4. 5: „As we have many mem- 
bers in one body, so we being many are one body in Christ-," 
1 Cor. 6, 15 : „Know ye not uiat yowr bodies are the members 
of Christ." • ^ 

Thereby we have to consider 

A. that Lore Jesus stands in a close union with the be- 
liever, and 

B. in which way this union is brought about. 

590. A.. That the Lord Jesus stands in a close union with 
the believer, we find stated in scripture partly in express terms, 
partly in figures and parables. 

Express terms we met with : John. 6, 56 : .,He that ea- 
teth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleih in me, and I 
in him ;« John. 14, 20 : „At that day ye shall know that I 
am in my father, and ye in me, and I in you.''' 1 Cor. 6, 17 : 
„he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit ;" Galat. 2, 20 : 
„I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;" Ephes. 5, 30: ■,^we 
are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones," IJohn. 
3, 24: „If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall 
remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son and in the 
Father; ibid. 4, 13 : Hereby know we that we dwell in him, 
and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit ;" 2 Pe- 
ter, 1, 4: „whereby are given unto us exceeding great and 
precious promises : that by these ye might be partakers of tJie 
divine naMire " 

591. Again this union is referred to in figures and parab- 
les. Thus for instance we find it coippared to a house and 
the inhabitants of the same, John. 14,r^3: „If a man love me, 
he wiU keep my words: and my Father will love hita, and 
we will come unto him, and make our abode with him;" Ephes. 



172 Chap. XXIII. The believer's union with Christ. 

3, 17: „Christ may dweU in your hearts by faith." - Again 
to God and the temple, in which He dwells, 1 Cor. d, lb: 
„know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the 
spirit of God dweUeth in you;" 2 Cor. 6, 16: „ye are the 
temple of the living God; as God hath said: I will dwell in 
them and walk in them." — In other places we find this 
union compared to man and his garment, Galat. 3, 27: „As 
many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on 
Christ."' — To marriage and me close union between man and 
wife., Ephes. v. 25 : „Hu8bands love your wives, even as Christ 
also loved the Church;" v. 31, 32: „A man shall leave his 
father and mother and shall be joined unto his) wife, and they 
two shall be one flesh ; this is a great mystery : but / speak 
concerning Christ and the Church," To this the parable of the 
Lord Jesus has also reference, Matth. 22, 2: „The kingdom 
of heaven is hke unto a certain king, which made a marriage 
for his son;" as also Hosea, 5, 19. 50: I will betroth thee 
unto me for ever; yea I will betroth thee unto me in righte- 
ousness, and in judgement, and in lovingkindness , and in 
mercies ; I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness)" — 
Another comparison 'is that to a tree and its branches; John. 
15, 5: „I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth 
in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for 
without me ye can do nothing;" Eom. 11, 17: „Thou, being 
a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them and with them 
partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;" v. 54: „if 
thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, 
and wert graffed contrary to nature in a wild olive tree" etc. — 
Finally Christ's union with the believer is compared to a body 
and the members of the same, 1 Cor. 15, 15: „As the body is 
one, and hath many members, and all the members of that 
one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ;'-^ Ephes. 
5, 53 : „Chri8t is the head of the church and the Saviour of 
the church and the Saviour of the body." 

595. B. In which way this union is brought about'? It can- 
not be said to be brought about by an essential change of 
that natural body, which man has received from Adam and his 
parents, into the body of the Lord Jesus, so that, henceforth, 
he could say of himself : I am Christ, and of his body, that 
he be heavenly, and not of Adam. For 

a. Nothing of the land is to be found anywhere in scrip- 
ture; 

593. ^. the holy scriptures treat the whole proceeding so- 
lely as a spiritual union, Ephes. 3, 17: „that Christ »may dwell 
in your hearts byfaiih;" 1 Cor. 6, 17: „he that is joined unto 
the Lord is one Spirit." — Now as faith will be acknowledged 



Chap. XXm. The believer's union with Christ. 173 

to be a thing of the spirit, it cannot be said to bring about 
a bodily union. The Christians, who have been baptized by 
one spirit into one body, and who have been made to drink 
into one spirit, 1 Cor. 15, 13 are united to each other, not in 
their bodies, but in their spirits ; and exactly so the believers 
are made with Christ one spirit, and not one body. 

594. y. We are told things concerning the body of the Lord 
Jesus, that could iiot_ possibly be said of the body of the re- 
generated and believing people; as for instance, 

1. the body of Christ has been taken upon him by the 
Son of God individually, personally, so that the word became 
flesh, John". 1, 14 ; 1 Cor. 15, 47 : „the second man is the 
Lord of heaven," and „in him dwelleth the fulness of the 
Godhead bodily,<^ Coloss. 5, 9. 

2._ Christ's body has been given for us all, Luk. 22, 19 ; 
but neither Paul's, nor Peter's body, nor that of any regene- 
rated has been given for us. 

3. Christ's body is immortal, Kom. 6, 9: „knowing that 
Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more." Whilst 
the bodies of the regenerated we know to be mortal. 

4. Christ's body has been glorif,ed, Phil. 3, 21; the bo- 
dies of the regenerated are frail, and by no means glorified 
in thi^ life. 

5. Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, Mrk. 16, 19. 
which is not the case with the regenerated. 

6. The bodies of the believers are said to become like 
unto the glorified body of Christ, Philip. 3, 21 ; which would 
not be promised if such was the case already etc. — Which 

E roves the bodies of the regenerated not to be the essential 
ody of Christ, and that, in oeing united with him , they are 
not partaking of his substance and of his nature. 

595. 8. Finally no such essential union can be intended, 
because of the bodies of the r^enerated, things are spoken of, 
which could not be applied to (Jhrist's body. Thus for instance 

1. we are told that the body of man is polluted and in- 
habited by sin, Eom. 7, 17. 20. 23. Christ's body is neither 
polluted nor inhabited by sin. 

2. The human body is described as being continually subject 
to the flesh,^ and as continually warring against the spirit, so 
that men are not able to do the things that they would. Gal. 
5, 17. Christ's body is not subject to such a war; he may 
do as he pleases. 

3. The human body goes to dust and ashes. Genes. 
3, 19; Eccles. (Sirach) 10, 10. 13. This cannot be the case 
with Christ's body, after it had been impossible even for the 



174 Chap. XXin. The believer's union with Christ. 

frave to keep him, that he should see corruption, Pslm. 16, 
0; Acts. 2, 24. 27. 31. 

4. The htiman body is committed to the earth in disho- 
nour,' in weakness, as a natural body, 1. Cor. 15, 42ff. But 
the body of the Lord Jesus, after he has entered into his 
glory, cannot be committed to the grave, much less can it be 
found in dishonour and in weakness. — Which proves that 
the bodies of the regenerated are not the essential body of 
Christ, as also, that, in being united with Christ, they do not 
partake of his substance and nature. 

596. The fact is that this union is brought about by 
/ai<A, Ephes. 3, 17: ^That ' Christ may dwell in your hearts 
by faith.'-'' — The natural human body has its members joined 
to it by bones and sinew«, Tob. 10, 11; by which a bodily 
union is brought about. — Again two friends, are joined and 
united together by the love they bear to each other, 1. Sam. 
18, 1; but this no body will look upon as a bodily union, 
inasmuch as love is not a bodily tie. Husband and wife are 
said to become one flesh. Genes. 2, 24; Matth. 19, 5; Ejphes. 
5, 31; not as if henceforth both constituted but one person, 
one substance, but that, by connubial love and attachment they 
are united to one bodj'. In the same way, Christ and the 
regenerated are joined together by faith. Now this faith, 
which is the means of the union is not bodily, nor is it at all 
at the free disposal of man. Consequently it cannot bring 
about a bodily union between Christ and nian. Faitlj on the 
contrary is a spiritual tie, resting uppn confidence and hope, 
aiid bnnging sibout a spiritual union between Christ and his 
spiritual members. — In the like manner :a prisoner who has 
been told of a benevolent man coming ti» ransom and to 
liberate him, carries about with him the desire, the hope 
and . confidence in this his benefactor. Thus '^Iso the be- 
Upver'a heart cUngs continually to his Kedeemer, with hope, 
confidence and desire, after, him; taking his , refuge to him 
in every trial, mingling him with eyery tliought of nis. 

, 597. This circumstance is beautifully explained in scripture 
by the figure oi marriage; Genes. 2, 24: „They shall be one 
^esA;" 1. Cor. 6, 16. 17:, „Know ye not that he whict is 
joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be 
one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord , is one spirit ;" 
Hosea 2, 19. 20: „I will betroth thee unto me for ever,, yek 
I will betroth thee unto me, in righteousness, and in judge- 
ment, and in lovingkindness and in mercies; I wUl even he- 
troth thee unto me in faithfulness". A promise by which God on 
Ms part rests the spiritual union upon righteousness, which He 
alone can give, and upon grace and mercy which IHe jjestowes 



Chap. XXIV. The means of grace. 175 

upon man. Whilst on the part of man, God rests this 
union upon nothing else but faith, by which they mSght trust 
in him that He is seeking their best, and that He is willing 
to be gracious unto them. All which causes a spiritual union, 
but not a bodily union. 



Chapter XXIV. 



This great work God is bringing about in man by certain means, viz : his 
word and sacrament. And for the purpose of these means being brought 
near to every man, He has instituted the office of ministry. The word by 
which God teaches us his will, is contained in the holy scriptures, in which 
the writings of the Prophets and Apostels have been preserved and trans- 
mitted to us. 



598. Up to this, we have only been considering the re- 
medies and provisions, God had made for the purpose of 
raising again the human race that had fallen into sin. It 
now remams for us to see, whether God is applying these re- 
medies with or without certain means. This is necessary for 
the purpose of preventing such as might be inclined to refuse 
the regular employment of these means , to expect the benefit 
of these provisions, without any means whatsoever, or to turn 
to such means as God does not employ at all , and thus , in 
both ways, deprive themselves of the benefits of divine mercy. 

599. In order shortly to sum up this matter, we say: 
God workes faitli and strengtenes it. He workes and streng- 
thenes faith either in adults or in children. In the first this 
comes to pass by the teaching of the wordj in the latter by 
die sacrament, of baptism. This latter sacrament is also condu- 
cive to the strengthening and augmenting of that faith, which 
the adults derive from the word. 

600. Concerning the word we have to inquire, 

A. In which way God does not teach its, and 

B. In which way He teaches us. 

601. A.. God does not teach us 

a. Witiwut, certain means. Such are revelations, visions, and 



176 Chap. XXIV. The means of grace. 

the like. — It is true that, in the Old testament dispensation, 
God has occasionaly instructed men without the employment 
of any means. Thus he spake face to face, for instance to Abra- 
ham, Genes. 20, 3; to Moses, Exod. 33, 1; from his mercy 
seat, as he promised Exod. 25, 22: „There I will meet with 
thee from above the mercy seat" etc.; through the ephod of 
the highpriest, 1. Samuel. 23, 9 fF. ; in shape of a man. Genes. 
28, 2ff.; by visions and dreams. Genes. 28, 12. 13; Jerem. 
1, 11. 13. etc. 

602. But it is to be remembered that God is not now 
any more speaking to us in diverse manners, Hebr. 1, 1; 
that with regard to matters of faith and salvation God never 
taught his people by extraordinary revelations, but that for 
this purpose He Has ordained the office of ministry , which 
was exercised by Prophets, priests, and the holy scriptures. 
We are therefore not entitled to expect God to teach us 
without any means whatsoever. 

603. Nor does God teach us by the liglit of naiure, in 
such a wa,y, as if this instruction did comprise every thing 
that is necessary for us to know. For, 

a. All we know by ourselves, is utter darkness, blindness 
and ignorance; EpheS. 4, 18: „the gentiles, having the under- 
standing darkened, being &,lienated from the life of God through 
the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their 
heart;" 1. Cor. 1, 21 : „In the wisdom of God the world' by 
wisdom knew not GodJ^ 

j3. Every knowledge concerning the things of God is to 
be derived but from revelation ; John. 1,18:, „No man hath 
seen God at any time: the only begotten Son which is in 
the bosom of the father lie had declared him;" Matth. 11, 27 : 
„No man knoweth the son but the father; neither knoweth 
any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the 
Son will reveal him."' 

y. Human wisdom is at enmity with divine knowledge; 
Kom. 8, 7 : „the carnal mind is enmity against God;" 1 Cor. 
5, 14: „the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit 
of God : for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he 
know them." — It was for this reason the virgin Mary could 
not comprehend, how she was to bring forth a son, as she 
had never known a man, Luk. 1, 34; that Nicodemus could 
not understand the doctrine of regeneration, John. 3, 4. 9; 
that the Apostles could not discern the prophecies with refe- 
rence to the sufferings of Christ, Luk. 18, 34; Matth. 16, 22; 
that Ihomas could not believe that the Lord had risen from 
the dead, John. 20; 59. Now if the natural light of man is 



Chaj). XXIV. The means of grace. 177 

contrary to the divine mysteries, it follows, that God does not 
intend us to be taught by, the light of nature. 

604. Nor does God teach us by the holy angels. For they 
have not been ordained to the office of ministry. On the 
contrary, God has forewarned us to take care not to be 
deceived by such as take upon them the name of an singel, 
2 'Cor. 41, 14: „Satan himself is transformed into an angel of 
light; Galat. 1, 8: „though . . . an angel from heaven preach 
any other Gosjoel unto you then that which we have preached 
unto you, let him be accursed;" Coloss. 2, 18: „let no man be- 
guile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worship- 
ping of angels., intruding^ into those things which he hath not seen, 
vainly pufed up by his fleshly mind." — Such .instances we 
meet with plentifully among the papists, the baptists and other 
sects, which havtf ever boasted a great deal upon having 
been taught by angels, or have allowed themselves to be de- 
ceived by pretended appearances of angels. 

605. Neither is God intending us to be taught by certain 
traditions, which have professedly been transmitted to the 
church from one teacher to the other, ever since the time of 
apostles ; — but of which circumstance nothing is to be found 
in the word of God. For 

a. Nobody is able to prove that God has ever led us to 
look to such traditions; we have therefore nor right to rest 
upon them our hope for salvation. 

j3. Even if such a tradition was produced, we have no 
infallible means whatsoever of deciding, whether the same be ' 
really derived from the apostles, or Avhether it be the produc- 
tion of false teachers. 

y. Besides which, ' the holy scriptures are so perfect, that 
we do not stand in need of the teaching of any other book. 
For we are told, that the scripture is able to make us wise 
unto salvation, 2 Timot. 3, 15 : that it is able to make us per- 
fect, throughly furnished unto all good works, v. 1, 17; it 
leads us to „believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God ; 
and that believing we might have faith by his name," John. 
20, 21. Which suffciently proves, that we do not stand in 
need of any tradition whatsoever. 

606. d. The traditions are uncertain and hable to be fal- 
sified. Thus in the churches of the Thessalonians the report 
had been spread in the name of Paul ,,that the day of Christ 
is at hand." This report the apostle contradicts, 2 Thess. 2, 
1. ff. warning his readers for the" spreading of such tra- 
ditions, in the following words : „ We beseech you brethren, that 
ye be not so soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by the 

12 



178 Chap. XXI¥. The means of grace. 

spm^, nor by word, nor by lei^Vi as from us, as that the day 
of Christ was sA hand; let no man Receive you by any nieans.'' 
— And on Peter's once asking the Lord Jesns what sort of death 
John was to suffer, his frowardness was punished in the fol- 
lowing words: ,If/ will that he tarry, till I come, what is that 
to thee? then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that 
that disciple should not die," John. 21, 22. ff. In this instance 
we find, that the sayings of the Lord Jesus had been perver- 
ted by the apostles, almost immediately after they had been 
uttered by nim ; how much more was this possible 
with the traditions, which, in the course of so many centuries, 
had to be carried about by so many teachers, hearers, belie- 
vers, schismatics etc.? The foundation therefore upon which 
tradition rests, is by no means of so secure a nature, for us 
with implicit faith to rest our salvation upon it. 

607. B- The manner in which God teaches mankmd, is of a 
twofold description; he teaches them hy means of men and by His 
word, which the Prophets and Apostles have reduced to wri- 
ting. With regard to the first, we know that God has em- 
ployed men for this purpose, in time of old. Thus didi Moses 
teach the people of Israel ; as did also the Prophets, who had 
been partly called to this office without any outward means, 
partly brought up for this purpose, at the school of the pro- 
phets, _2 Kings. 2, 3. 5; 4, 38. tf. Under the New testament dis- 
pensation God sent His Son, to be a prophet, who was to be 
obeyed, Deutr. 18, 15; Matth. 17, 5. Afler his resurrection 
Christ gave to his people. Apostles, Prdphets, Evang^sts, 
Pastors and Teachers, Ephes. 4, Hj of whom he says: „he 
that heareth you heareth me: and he that despiseth you, des- 
piseth me," Luk. 10, 16. He commanded them also to' go and 
to teach all nations , Matth. 28, ,19. 20 ; and to preach repen- 
tance and forgiveness of sins to all nations, Luk. 24, 27. To 
this office the Apostles have subsequently ordained other men, 
as Timothy, Titus, and the latter again others, that by 
them the brospel might be preached everywhere, Titus 1, 5. o. 
Such they have done in accordance with the divine wUl and 
providence. St. Paul accordingly vmtes to the ministers of 
the chutch at Ephesus, whom he had ordained to minister in 
the same, as follows : „Take heed therefore unto yourselves, 
and to all the flock, over which the holy Ghost has made you 
overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased 
with his own blood," Acts. 20, 28. — But of the office of the 
ministry we shall have occasion to speak in a subsequent chap- 
ter. 

608. The holy scriptures, or the written, word of God have 
ever since they have been written, been employed by God as 



Chap. XXIV. The means of grace. 179 

a means whereby to teach ,men. For it was for this purpose 
that God caused His word to be committed to wnting by 
Moses, that not „evety iiian might do as it pleased good to 
hini", Deutro. 4, 2 ; 12, 32. In the like manner the prophet 
Isaiah was commanded to bind the people down to the written 
word „to the law .and the testimony: if they speak not accor- 
ding to rthis word, it is because there is no light in them," 
chapt. 8, 20. — The Lord Jesus also has pointed out to us 
the scriptures, John. 5, 39: Search the scnptures; they are 
they which testify of me;" Luk. 16, 29: „They (the rich 
man's brothers) have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear 
them." — In the same way St. Paul by his example leads 
usto the scripture; for we read that he said „none other things 
than those which Jhe Prophets and Moses did say, should come 
. to pasS^" Acts. 26, 22; as also by diligent exhortations, 2 Ti- 
mot. 3, 15. 16. „From a child thou hast known the holy scnp- 
tures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvaMon. All 
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for 
doctrine, for reproofi for correction, for instruction in righteous- 
ness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly ftimished 
to every good work." To which is to be added what he says 
Bom. 15, 4: „ Whatsoever things were written aforetime, Were 
written four our learning, that we through patience and com- 
fort of the scriptures might have hope." 

609. From all this it is evident, that God teaches men 
and oSills them to his kingdom by means of men, Tfhom He 
choses to ©aaplioy for this purpose. It is the duty of these 
minister Bj to |)reach the word of God and to teach in accor- 
datce with the same, so that they do not deviate from it, nei- 
ther to the right nor to the left, but, According to the com- 
mand, Matth. 28, 20: ^iteach'ihem ta ohierve w things when- 
soever I (Christ) have commanded you,'-'- 



-»»3*- -«»*^^S!>-^^*«*^ ■«««« 



12* 



180 



Chapter XXV. 

Sacraments are holy actions, ordained by God, by the performance of which 

somelhin* real is offered unto, and received by us ; by which, as by a seal, the 

word of God and His promises of mercy are sealed, appropriated, and made 

sure unto us, as also we are made partakers of other spiritual gifts. 



610. Concerning the sacraments it will be best to treat 
every one of the same especially. For a more general view 
of the same , it may be as well to draw the attention to the 
following seven points. 

a. What is implied by the word sacrament ? It is this a 
latin word, which originally designates either a certain sum 
of money, which, on the occasion of a lawsuit, each of the , two 
contending parties had to deposit, and which was not returned 
to the party that lost the suit; — or the oath, which the 
soldier had to make to his general or to the magistrates. 

This Avord, having been transmitted into the language 
of the latin church, is, was henceforth employed to signify 
every action or mystery of godliness ; the . latin bible designs 
the union of Christ and the church as a sacrament, E;^hes. 
2, 12 ; although the Apostle himself calls it a Mystery.. 

611. A Sacrament is especially called the mystery of that 
holy action, by which God appropriates and scales unto us 
the promises of the Gospel'. We, on our part, employ the 
word in the same sense, considering them as the great My- 
steries of Christianity, by which, in a special manner, Christ's 
people are united to the Lord Jesus, in order that they might 
never part from him, and rather loose their lives than again 
be indiiced by Satan and his servants to sin against God. 

612. b. TJie nature of Sacraments. They are 
a. holy actions, 

j3. which God has himself ordained, 

/. in which we have offered unto us, Jirst, something 
that is outwardly, bodily and visible, and secondly , something 
that is heavenly, spiritual and invisible, 

8. the seals which support the wofd of God, 

£. the means by which God's merciful promises are ap- 
propriated unto us, — and 



Chap. XXV. Of sacraments in general. 181 

J. by which we are made jjartakers of other blessings. 

613. Sacraments are like seals which Qod puts to His 
word, as a seal is put to a letter, in order to prove that to be 
true' which is contained and promised in the same. At the time 
God gave unto Noah, and bj it to the whole creation, the 
promise of never again sendmg a flood over the earth, He 
inimediately put His visible seal to this promise , namely the 
rainbow; and whenever this sign makes its appearance, we 
receive a new assurance of ^is promise,. Genes. 9, 13 flF. 
God promising unto Abraham that his seed was to become 
so large that it should be impossible for them to be numberd, 
sealed also this His promise with an outward sign, that as 
he was not able to number the stars , so should bis seed be, 
Genes. 15, 5. ,6.' In the same way God when making a co- 
venant with Abrsfliam promising to be his God, and the God 
of his seed after him. Genes. 17, 7, He added a seal to this 
promise in ordaining circumcision, which was to be the sign of 
the covenant, v. 11. Thus also has He insured to other saints 
His divine grace, as will appear from the history of Jona- 
than, 1. Samuel. 14, 16; and from that of David, ibid. 17, 26. 

614. Now in ail these proceedings God has allways gi- 
ven, as it were two sort of assurances, namely, one that could 
be heard, and a second that could be seen; thus Noah received 
the word and the rainbow; Abraham had the assurances of 
the word and the stars, and on another occasion that of the 

word and circumcision In the like manner He assures us, in 

his word that his body has ' been giveii into death, and his 
blood. shed, for us, and the same thing he assures us of in 
the Lord's Supper, when he gives us his body to eat, and 
bis blood to drink. — 

615. The Sacraments appt'opriate unto m,an more espedalhj 
the things, which he has been promised in the word. For in- 
stance, in the word we_ are told that Christ has suffered death 
on account of the sins of the whole world and of all mankind, 
and that his blood has been shed for all. Now the Lord's 
Supper has been ordained that the Lord might say to tire 
compiunicant: this is my body, which has been given for yow, 
and this is my blood which has been shed for you. Thus that, 
which has been spoken (A in the word, is, by means of the Sa- 
crament, appropriated to every believer apart; the latter is now 
assured that trie general promises of the Gospel have also 
special reference to him. 

616. c. What is necessary for a Sacrament'^ Concerning 
which question we have to consider; 

1. him that institutes the Sacrament, 

2, the substance it cmtsisttt of. 



182 Chap. XXV. Of sacraments in general. 

3. fe real, inward, essetiMal form of the same, an4 

4. its pwrposes cmd effects.- 

1. With regard to him that institutes a Sacrament, we 
obser-ve that it can be ordained but by God cdone, and undev 
no circimstanees whatsoener by any man. And this, because 
no man is able to prescribe to God the means by which tp 
dispense Hig grace. He alone has the power to point out 
the means, the use of which are acceptable to Him. Every 
thing therefore, that has its origin in human tradition and di- 
vers others customs, cannot be admitted to be a Sacrament; 
as little as it can be considered as forming an essential part 
of the same. Whilat on the other band, with regard to every 
action that is really, a Sacrament, we are in possession of the 
direct commands of the word of God; whjoh also contains, 
for the same purpose, certain commandments and arrange- 
ments, and a premise, that by means of these Sacraments we 
are to be made partakers of a heavenly and spiritual gift. 

617. It is necessary also that the Sacrament slwuld not be 
instuted only for. a short space of time, but that its effieaey should 
last as long as the dispensation itself to which it belongs. 

618. 2. With regard to its substance, it will be necessary 
for_ the words that institute the Sacrament to state that the 
believer has to receive something that is earthly, bodily and 
visible, as well as something that is spiritual, heavenly and 
invisible. For as God , by means of the Sacraments is 
communicating heavenly graces to earthly Beings, He, in the 
use of these means joins together earthly and heavenly, bo- 
dily and spiritual things. The bodily substance of ^he Sa- 
crament is (in the language of the latin Church) called the 
Element ^ and consists in baptism of the water, in the Lord's 
Supper of bread and wine. That not more than the above 
mentioned things are required for the use of the Sacraments, 
we trust to prove in the chapters, that treat on the Saqraments 
especially. 

619. But the following distinction, caused by the different 
dispensations, is not to be lost sight of. For even iso 
as the old testament dispensadon consisted almost entirely 
of types, so the Sacraments it prescribed, had the spiritual 
and heavenly things but as a shadow of things to come and 
not in their reality; whilst those of the New testament have 
the spiritual and heavenly things not after their shadow, but in 
their reality. 

620. Frew which follows, that the Sacraments of the 
two dispensations cannot have been of one and the same 
description. All such things, therefore, as are common to the 
Sacraments of both dispensations cannot be called a Sacra- 



Chap. XXV. Of sacraments in general. 183 

ment at all. Every thing that belongs to the old testament 
dispensation ca,nnot form a Sacrament of the new testament; 
nor can anything of the new testament dispensation be made 
a Sacrament in the Old. 

621. 3. With regard to the real, inward and essential 
Jorm of the Sacrament, it will be necessary for the word to 
have ordained a certain iaction, by which the substance of the 
Sacrament is oiFered unto man and received by him. If such 
was not the case, then neither the express words nor the in- 
stitution of the Sacrament would be done justice to. For 
the word must be joined to the Sacrament , else it would be 
no Sacrament at all. 

622. From which we deduce, that the Sacrament cannot 
essentially coneiatj)/ substance alone,, even after the latter had 
been consecrated and put aside for this holy purpose. This 
could not yet make a Sacrament, because it had not been 
dealt with according to the will of him who instituted the 
same. 

623. In the same way, although the /Sacraments, as a whole, 
have their own signification, yet the visible elements of the 
same cannot be said „<o. dgrdfy something invisible.'^ For, in 
the first instance the word „signify" is not to be found in 
the words of Institution. And secondly if we maintain the 
term „signify," then we mix up the sacraments of the 
old and those of the new testament, as having only „to 
signify." But it is remarkable, that it is just this, that consti- 
tutes the difference between the Sacraments of the Old and 
those of the New testament. Those of the old testament are 
but shadows and do but „signify" the future, whilst those of 
the new Testament in reality do comprise and offer the sub- 
stance of the thing signified. 

624. 4. The purposes and effects of the Sacraments. 
Every Sacrament must have spiritual effects. For it has been 
ordained for the purpose of being the means of communica- 
ting the grace ofu-od to man; from which follows that every 
Sacrament, that has no spiritual effects, cannot be a Sacra- 
ment at all. 

625. d. Who is entitled to handle and to dispense the Sa- 
cram,entsf thereby we have to answer two questions: 

a. wJtether the ministers of Ood alone are entitled to the per- 
formance of this act, or whether such as do not belong to the 
mimstiry have also a right to dispense the same f The dispensing 
oJF the Sacraments forms part of the obligations of the tmnistru, 
as St. Paul writes „Let a man so account of us as of the 
ministers of^ Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of Bod^"- 
1. Cor. 4, 1. Now as nobody is entitled to intrude himself 



184 Chap. XXV. Of sacraments in general. 

upon the office of the ministry, unless he be properly called, 
80 nobody is entitled to dispense the Sacrament ,_ unless he 
be called upon to do so by his office. But this has, of 
course, only reference to an orderly state of things within 
the church, and not to one of disturbance and persecution 
which makes it impossible to get at an ordained clergyman; in 
which latter emergency such also, as are not properly ordai- 
ned to the office of the ministry, are permitted to teach tlje 
word , and to dispense the Sacraments. But yet with this 
distinction that the Saci:ament of baptism be indispensably 
necessary, whilst the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper could 
be possibly dispensed with. In our days the Sacrament 
of baptism niay happen to be of immedig,te necessity, but 
scarcely ever the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and we 
say therefore, that persons who have not been properly or- 
dained to the office of the ministry, are permitted to confer 
baptism, but not to dispense the Lord's Supper. 

626. j3. Whether, for the full efficacy of the Sacrament, it 
be necessary for him who dispenses the same, to be a, truly 
godly man, and to have, during the performartee of the same 
certain good purposes in his own mind? We answer: it is 
true, that it behoves every man to approach the table of the 
Lord' with fear and trembling, considering that he is about 
to approach the Lord's countenance. Now it may also hap- 
pen, that he whose duty it is to dispense the Sacrament is a 
despiser of God, or though not evil minded in other respects, 
has yet his mind occupied, during .the whole action, with un- 
profitable and unbecoming thoughts. But this circumstance 
cannot, in any way whatsoever, make void the Sacrament 
cither in its nature or its working. For 

«. In this way the word, if preached by evilminded people 
would have no pffect neither. But that this is not. the case 
is proved when we read oi' Judas, though unsincere, yet ha- 
ving effectually preached the word to the Pharisees, and Seui- 
bes, Matth. 10, 4. 7, that sat in Moses' seats, Matth. 23, 
2. 3; — and of others who preached the word for the express 
purpose of creating envy and strife, Philip. 1, 15. — In the 
same way, the efficacy 'of either of the Sacraments cannot be 
made void by the wickedness of the officiating minister. 

|3. St. Paul writes Rom. 3, 3: ,^SJiall man's unbelief make 
the faith of God without effect?'-' the faith of God is accor- 
dingly of such a nature as to give us His gifts by means of 
the Sacrament; and how could it be possible for the faith- 
lesness of His servant to make this faith of ..God entirelv 
void. ' j 

f. It is not possible for -Any one to know the thoughts 



Chap. XXV. Of sacraments in general. 185 

that animate his fellowmen; or to assure himself of the sen- 
timents that are in the heart of the minister, whilst dispen- 
sing to him the Sacrament. As a consequence of this ever- 
booy would stand in continual doubt, as to his ever having 
efficaciously received the Sacrament. — And under such cir- 
cumstances the Sacrament could not be said to be a seal to 
the faith of any one. 

627. e. To whom the Sacraments are to be given? We 
have here to consider, in the first place, the persons -who are 
to receive them, and secondly, the preparations they are ex- 
pected to make fur this purpose. — With regard to our first 
consideration, we say, that the Sacraments are to be given 
,unto all men, who have subjected themselves to the word, and 
the promises cont^jped . in the same. Yet the mode of the 
instituting of the same, as also many other circumstances may 
serve to modify this principle. Thus we find that the Passsah- 
laihb had immediate reference to all Israel, whikt circumci- 
sion was to be performed upon children on the eight day and 
not sooner. Jbxactly in the same way is baptism the duty 
of every man , ^ and there is no plausible obstacle whatsoever 
to this Sacrament being administered to* Jews and Gentiles, 
as well as to children and adults; whilst the Lord's Supper 
is but for such Christians as are able „t0 examine themselves" 
(concerning the state of their soul), 1. Cor. 11, 28. Which 
proves that to the Lord's Supper are to be admitted but 
adults and not children. 

628. With regard to the necessary prepq,ra£ons for the 
Sacraments, we say that none but those are to be made par- 
takers of the Sacrament, who are believers and in reality the 
spiritual mfembers of the Lord Jesus; whilst such as are un 
believers, or schismatics, or epiciiraean despisers of God and 
Plis word, as well as such as do not come to a knowledge 
of their sins, or who despair of the grace of God, — have no 
title whatsoever to the partaking of the Sacraments. Accordingly 
we find baptism and the Lord's Supper everj' where mentioned 
in close union with faith; Mrk. 16, 16: „He that believeth and 
is baptized shall be' saved; but he that believeth not shall be 
damned.^'- — And the Eunuch of Ethiopia, expressing his an- 
xiety to be baptized is answered by Philip: „If thou belie- 
vest with all thine heart, thou mayest [be Baptized]," Acts. 8, 
37. And . concerning the Lord's Supper we read : „Bvit let a 
man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread etc.'-' 1 
Cor. 11, 28. 

629. f. To which purpose Sacramenis are to be_ employed ? 
the principal end and purpose of the Sacraments is the ap- 
plication and the sealing tmto us of the divine promises. Besides 



186 Chap. XXV. Of sacraments in general. 

which they are also to serve for other purposes; thus by the pub- 
Hcly partaking of the same alone with God's people, one confesses 
himself to be of the same faith; binding himself to be faithful 
unto God even to the last, and even to give his life for the 
honour of His name. Finally by the partaking of the Sacra- 
ments, the believers determine henceforth to consider themsel- 
ves as members of the same body, and to assist each other 
in works of charity, 

630. g. As to the differ mi, Mnds and numbers of the. Sacra- 
ments. This distinction has its origin in the diversity of the 
two dispensations, for there were Sacraments belonging to the 
Old, whilst some are refering te the New testament dispensation. 

The Sacraments of the Old testaments dispensation were : 
Circwmeision and the Passover. — Circumcision was a seal of the 
covenant which God has made with Abraham and his seed, promi- 
sing to be their God, and that of their seed after them, Genes. 17, 10; 
— a Sacrainent that has been abolished [at the commencement 
of the new testament dispensation]. AVe know that Paul h^d 
seriously to contend with false Apostles, who mentained the 
necessity of baptism, even under the new testament dispensa- 
tion; and that he decided the same to have been abolished, 
Act. 15, 1. 19. 20. — By the institution of the Passover the 
Israelites received the assurance, that the Angel of death should 
have no power over the inhabitants of the houses, that had 
the token of blood upon them, Exod. 13, 14. This Sacrament 
also has been abolished, for Christ our Passover is sacr^ed 
for us, 1 Cor.' 5, 17. The Lord Jesus in that he has institu- 
ted baptism and the Lord's Supper, has created something 
new, thereby making the first covenant (circumcision and pas- 
Bover) Old, Heb. 3, 13. 

631. In the new testament dispensation, we have also not 
more than two Sacraments, viz: baptism and the Lord's Sup- 
per. — 

In this place it is not to be omitted to attend to the fol- 
lowing distinctions. By circumcision all the male children of 
God's people were received within His covenant of mercy; 
whilst the Passover served as a seal of the covenant of mercy 
made by means of circumcision. — In the same manner, the Chri- 
stian, is, by baptism, admitted into God's covenant, whilst in the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper be has this covenant confir- 
med unto his soul. 



187 



Chapter XXVI. 

Holy Baptism is a Sacramenl, by which Ihe Lord is regenerating men, 
by water and the Spirit, to a new and spiritqal life, purifying them from 
their sins, adopting them as His children and making a covenant with them, 
with the assurance that, if they remain in the same, they are to be heirs 

of eternal life. 



632. The first l^crament of the Ohristian is holy bcmtiam, 
concerning which we following nine points are to attendied to. 

a. The name of this Sacrament. It is baptism,; this means 
to dip, to wash. Thus Naeman dipped into the Jordan 
when making the ablutions which he had been advised to try, 
1 Kings. 5, 14. Thus the Israelites were all baptized in pas- 
sing through the sea, I Cor. 10, 2. — In the same way the 
washing of the Christian is called baptism or a dimmg, both 
an account of the external, bodily, and the interiijal and spiri- 
tual act thereby executed. — This act is also called the vi- 
sible pouring out of the holy Ghost, Matth. 3, 11: „he that 
cometh after me, shall baptize you with the Holy Ohost," 

633. The act of baptism is also designated with many 
other names, such as : Water, John. 3, 5 : „Excffl)t a man be 
bom of water and of ihe spint^'- etc. ; — also : the washing of 
regeneration mid reneniing of the Holy Ghost, Titus, 3, 5; — - 
finally : the Washing of water by the word, Ephes. 5. 26. 

634. b. The na,ture of this Sacram,ent. It is a spiritual ac- 
tion, instituted and ordained by Christ, by the performance of 
which a man is baptized with water, in the name of the Fa- 
ther, and the Son and the Holy Ghost; and by means of 
which be receives forgiveness of sins, is received in God's 
covenant of mercy and is made partaker of the merits of Christ, 
of adoption and of eternal salvation. — We propose to 
consider the essentials of the preceding definition more par- 
ticularly. 

635. a. Wherever we find baptism spoken of in scripture, 
we ought never to imagine it to refer to the outpouring, or the 
gift, of the Holy Ghost , which favour even in our days is not 
denied to some falthfiil Christians; nor to the 6ap<M»n of death, 
which the holy Martyrs had to endure; .^ but that it means 
to imply nothing else, but the baptism of waier. 

636. jS, Baptism is not a mere external eeremaay, whereby 



188 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 

pubKcly to confess the faith in Christ. This oppinion is not 
derived from scripture,, nor could it be supported by any part 
of the latter. Baptism is a much more beautiful and a truly divine 
operation, whicn could not be brought about by a mere out- 
ward ceremony, even if this ceremony was for the purpose, 
of publicly confessing Christ. 

637. y. Baptism it not a sign of the regeneration, that is 
to take place in man, sometime after baptism had been con- 
ferred upon him. For as baptism causes regeneration, it can- 
not be said to signify the same. We have, therefore, not to con- 
sider it as a mere token, because baptism has not been given 
us merely as a sign, but as a m,eans of regeneration. 

638. c. TJie way in which baptism, has been anounced and 
promised to us in the Old testament. This has taken place : 

a. In words, Ezek. .36, 25: ,^1 will sprinkle clean water 
upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness," 
Joel. 3, 18: „A fountain shall com,e forth of the house of the 
Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim;" Zach. 13, 1: 
„In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of 
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and un- 
cleanness. 

/3. In types, such as: 
_ 1. The flood, 1 Pet. 3, 20. 21: „In the days of Noah, 
while the- ark waS' a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight 
souls were saved by water; the like figure whereunto even 
baptism both also now save us.'- 

2. Circumcision, Coloss. 2, 11. 12: „In whom (Christ) 
also ye are circumcised, with the circumcision made without 
hands, in_ putting of the body of the sins of the flesh by tiie 
circumcision of Christ, buried with him in baptism." 

3. The passage through the red sea, during which the chil- 
dren were led by a cloud, 1 Cor. 10, 12: „A11 our fathei-s 
were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and 
were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." 

4. The river that was flowing out from tinder the temple, 
in the vision of Ezek. 47, 1. 8. 9 : „The waters came down 
from under the right side of the house, and he s:ud unto me, 
these waters issue out toward the east country, and go down 
in the desert and go into the sea : which being brougiit forth 
into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come 
to pass that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whither- 
soever the rivers shall come, shall live," This same healing 
river is also mentioned Eevel. 22,. 1; ff.; and can therefore not 
be understood to refer to any thing, else but to baptism;. ■ — 

As such' types remain to be mentioned:; the levitical water 
of separation. Numb. 19, 9. 10, flF.; —tlie levitical puriflbations, 



Chap. XXVT. Of the sacrament of baptism. 189 

Levit. 15, 6. ff.; — the deansmg ofNaeman,^ 2 King. 5, 14. ff. 

639. d. By whom baptism has hem instituted and ordained. 
Every Sacrament must be instituted by God, else any action 
could not carry this name; which proves that baptism must 
have been commanded by God, and cannot have anv other 
foundation. — The institution has taken pkbe, in the first 
place, in that John received the command to baptize, Luk. 3, 2. 
3 : „The word of God came unto John, and he came into all 
the country about Jordan, preaching the laptism of repentance 
for the remission of sins;" John. 1, 33: „He that sent me to 
baptize with water, ^ the same said unto me, upon whom thou 
shalt see the Spirit descending" etc. Accordingly the baptism 
of John is spoken of as being from heaven, Matfh, 21, 25; 
and in. another plac.e it is called: God's counsel, Luk. 7, 30: 
„But the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the counsel of God 
against themselves, being not' baptized of him (John)." — In 
the same way as John, Christ did also baptize/ John. 4, 1. 2. 
Whitfh command he repeated, when he sent his disciples into all 
the world to preach the Gospel, Matth. 28, 19: „Go ye, teach 
all nations, baptizing them" etc — And as , of baptism itself, 
we are: told, that it is ,.,the answer . of a good conscience toward 
God," 1 Pet. 3. 21 ; — „a washing of regeneration, and renew- 
tJig of the Holy Ghost," Titus. 3,' 5, — and the washing of 
the waiir by which God sanctifies his Church, Ephes. 5, 26, it 
follows that it must have been instituted by God. 

640. 2. The persons, who are called upon to administer 
the Sacrament. God, although having instituted baptism, had 
jret the same administered by John, Luk. 3, 3; the Lord bap- 
tized by his disciples, John. 4, 1. 2. Thus we have, a rignt 
to ask (seeing that God is hot administering baptism Himself,) 
who has been ordained by Him to baptize man? This question 
has been partly discussed already §. 625; and in this place is but 
remains for us to state, that God has ordained whom baptism to 
be conferred by those men he has called to the ministry • of His 
word. Accordingly he commands: teach all nations and bap- 
tize them. Baptism is one of the mysteries of the kingdom 
of God, concerning which St. Paul writes 1 Cor. 4, 1 : „Let 
a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and 
stewards of the mysteries of God." — If therefore, there hap- 

Eens to be a baptism to be conferred, it must be administered 
y a properly- ordained minister. But with reference to this we 
have to make the following inquiries : 

641. a. Whether, a minister, who maintains and teaches 
erroneous, doctrines, is entitled to confer the Sacrament of bap- 
tism f Such schismatic teachers there are two kinds, viz : 

^?■ Some tliat do not keep to the strict command of the 



190 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament; of baptism. 

Lord, employing for ba>ptism another substance than water; 
whilst others do not baptize in the name of the Father, the 
Son and the Holy Ghost, thereby perverting the mode of the 
institution. Such persons have no right to administer baptism, 
not because of their being in themselves unfit for this purpose, 
but because of their perverting Christ's command and ordi- 
nance. 

2- Some false teachers there, are who retain the mode of the 
baptism entirely unchanged- Such have a full right to admi- 
nister the Sacrament of baptism, without depriving the recei- 
ver of the benefits this act is able to confer; always un- 
derstood that such people, who know this minister to main- 
tain errors, should not go to him, nor bring their children 
t6 him for receiving baptism, except in cases of the utmost 
necessity. 

642. This can be proved by the fact 

1. that mien's unbelief cannot make void the faith of God, 
Bom. 3, 3 : Like as for instance an honest man never fails 
to fiilfil his promise, although he is obliged to have the same 
executed by a bad and faithless servant; exactly so God ful- 
fils His promise, to grant unto us, by b^tism, the regenera- 
tion of our souls and other spiritual gifts^ although he that 
administers the Sacrament happens to be, because of his false 
teaching, unf jdthful to his God- 

2. ^ men's unbelief was aile to make void the faith of God, 
almost every man would have to despair of being baptized 
rightly. For who can be thoroughly assured of His minister 
teaching in all poults the right doctnne, or being in every re- 
spect right minded, and accordingly almost no man could feel 
himself assured of the benefits or of the fruits of baptism. 

3. We know also that other religious acts have lost 
nothing of their efficacy, although he that officiated maintained 
certain errors. Thus, for instance, the sacr^ces were not 
found fault with, for reason of their having been prepared by 
perverse priests; the virgin Mary offered sacrifices, with the 
assistance of a priest of the same description, Luk. 2, 24; 
and the Lord Jesus Christ himself commanded the priests 
that persecuted him (and thereby erred) to offer sacrifices, 
Matth. 7, 4,- Mark. 1, 44. 

Nor do we know of any instance, of any questions having 
been started, during the Old testament dispraisation, concer- 
ning the Orthodoxy of him, who administered circumcision; 
and it is more than probable that the Lord Jesus has been 
circumcised by one, who had been attached to the (erroneous) 
doctnne of the Pharisees. — Exactly so it is in the case of 
the Gospel of Salvation being preached by ungodly people. The 



Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 191 

word cannot be said to have lost its power and efficacy, in 
consequence of this circumstance. For aMiough the Lord 
Jesus himself warned his hearers with respect to the erron- 
eous teaching of the Pharisees, Matth. 16, 6. 12, he comman- 
ded them nevertheless to do whatever the Pharisees bade them 
do in accordance with the law of Moses. „The Scribes and 
Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they 
bid you observe, that observe and do," Matth. 23, 2. 3. St. 
P„ul rejoices that the word of Qiod had been preached, though 
it was not done of good will, but of envy and strife and in 
pretence, Philip. 1, 15. 18. 

Nqw in the same way as sacrifices, circumcision and the 
preaching of the word of God do not become void of their 
efficacy, by: being administered by ministers who maintain 
erroneous doctrines* so baptism cannot be made ineffectual by 
the errors of him who confers the same upon him. And aU 
that has been said, with reference to the latter, holds also good 
in the case of a minister who leads an ungodly life. 

643. A second question we have to consider is 

|3. Whether such as are not ordained, or laym^ areper- 
mitted to administer baptism. We answer as follows,: It is 
true, that the functions of teaching and preaching the word, 
are to be exercised but by properly ordained ministers; ne- 
vertheless if there should be non.> to be procured and the 
case most urgent, they may be exercised by one, not 
ordained for the holy office. The same is also permitted in 
the case of baptism being required, if it was impossible to 
procure a properly ordained minister for the purpose. This 
can be raoved from the following: 

X. The teaching of the word as well as the dispensing 
of the Sacraments, form alike part of the office of the mmistery. 
As in cases of necessity the exercise of the first is permitted 
' to the laymen, so also must be the latter. 

3. The Sacraments of the Old testament have not been 
administered by the Priests only. Thus we find circumcision 
nowhere spoken of as one of the peculiar functions of the 
priestly office. The Passover every man was at liberty to kill 
and prepare for himself, Exod. 12, 6. Which proves that, in 
cases of necessity, the Sacrament of baptism may be admi- 
nistered with safety by persons, who are not ordained fot 
the ministry. . 

644. y. Are women permitted to confeir baptism l Whatever 
has been said with regard to laymen, holds also good in the 
case of women. ^^JThat, in cases of necessity, women are per- 
mitted to baptize, -appears evident team the facts: 

1. thai m Christ Jesus all belieeers are made One, and 



192 Chap, XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 

that henceforth the difference between men and women has 
been abolished, Gal. 3, 28 ; 

2. That women have even been permitted to teach in 
some of the churches; as for, instance, Phebe in the church 
of Canehrea; — Priscia Paul's, helper, v. 3, concerning whom 
we have also a right to suppose, that they have also admi- 
nistered baptism. 

3. Nor do we lack instances of women having conferred 
circumcision ; thus we read of Zipora , the wife of Moses ha- 
ving circumcised her son, Elxod. 4, 25. In the time of the 
persecutions under Antioch, many godly women circumcised 
their' children, as we are told 1. MaCcab. 1, 61; 2. Macca^). 
6, 10. 

645. f. Who has a right to receive baptism. It is the will 
of God that all men should enter his covenant of grace, and 
therefore that all should receive baptism. Accordingly there' is 
DO reason for excluding any man, old or young; rich or poor; 
man or wife from the benefits, of the same, — unless any one 
unfits himself for its reception. 

646. The question: whether children are to receive baptism 
iw,mediately after their birth, and before they have come to the 
full use of their senses., and have been able to be instructed con- 
cerning God's will, — we answer in the a^rmative; and tliis 
for the following reasons : 

a. The Lord Jesus has issued a general command: „Go 
ye, and teach all nations,"- Matth. 28, 19. The term „all na- 
tions" cannot but be understood to include also little children. 
And -if it pleases God to include all, men within the range 
of His mercaful purposes, it does not befit man, to withhold 
these benefits from any body; and if God commands all men 
without any distinction, to be baptized, we have no right to 
deny this Sacrament to anybody, even not to little children. 

j3. lAttle children are denizens of the covenant of grace. 
For the Lord Jesus himself declares: .that „of such (children) 
is the kingdom of heaven," Mrk. 10 , 14. This coven, nt is 
made by oaptism, which Peter calls „an answer of a good 
conscience towards God," 1. Peter 3, 21. From which 
follows, that whosoever belongs to the covenant of grace is 
entitled to receive baptism. Children we have just seen to 
belong to this covenant, — consequently they must be bap- 
tised. 

y. The Lord- Jesus has given us the following general rules; 
yiExcept a man be born again., he cannot see the kingdom of 
heaven ;" and yjflesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of 
heaven," John. 3, 5; 1. Cor. 15, 50. — From this we con- 
clude: nobody can inherit the kingdom of heaven as long as 



Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 193 

still flesh and blood ; but the children being begotten in the 
natural way are flesh and blood, consequently they cannot see 
the kingdom of heaven. Nevertheless we have seen it to be 
the will of God that they should enter the kingdom of hea- 
ven ; and it becomes therefore indispensably necessary for them 
to be regenerated. But this regeneration is brought about by 
no other means than by baptism, which we know to be the 
washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, ■ 
Titus. 3, 5 ; as also the Lord Jesus himself declares regene- 
ration to be by water and the Spirit. Consequently it is ne- 
cessary for children to be baptised. :*., 

8. Besides, the Apostle Paul tells us, that, even circumci- 
sion of old has been a seal of righteousness, Rom. 4, 11; and 
a means of the coijenant between God and the seed of Abra- 
ham , Genes. 17, 11. 12. After the abolition of circumcision, 
baptism has been given us in its place, to be to us an answer 
(or a covenant) of a good conscience towards God, 1 Peter 3, 
21. Now as with respect to circumcision, God did not take in 
consideration the human age, but commanded all children to 
be baptised on 'the eight day, without awaiting their having 
come to an age, in which he would be able to comprehend the 
importance of the covenant made between God and Abraham ; 
— so also is it His will, in the New testament dispensation, 
not to limit His grace in such a way, as to exclude little 
children from entering on the enjoyment of gifts , to which 
they were admitted under the law. On the contrary. He is 
willed that all children, without reference to their age and rea- 
soning powers , should be baptized and that they should be 
made partakers of His covenant of grace , even before they 
have come to the ■ fuU enjoyment of their reason. 

647. Again it has been asked : Whether evil doers. Schis- 
matics and unbelieoers ought to be admitted to baptism. We 
answer: Every one who cannot receive baptism worthily is 
not to be baptized, as long as he is remaining in such a state. 
There are three things that unfit a man for baptism, \iz: false 
teaching; gross sins, and ignorance and unbelief. — Suppose one. 
who is teaching erroneous doctrines, or is sunk mto sin in 
such a manner as to withstand the Holy Ghost, and to unfit 
himself for the operations the latter, — such nn one ought not 
to be baptized, until he has put away from him bis errors 
and his sins, according to the advice of Peter, Acts, 2, 38: 
„RepeTii, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus 
Christ for the remission of sins.'^ If he happens' to be an adult, 
but has not yet received any instructions in the Christian faith, 
it is, of course, abovfe all things requisite for him, previous to 
his baptism, to be properly instructed. On the occasion of 

13 



194 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 

thes Eunuch's asking Philip to baptize him, saying: „See^ here 
is water I what does hinder me to be baptiged,'-' Philip ans- 
wers: „If thou believest with thy whole heart thou mayest;" 
Acts. 8, 36. ff. The same was done by Peter and Silas at 
Philippi on the occasion of their, converting their keeper. _ They 
first preached to him the word of God, and baptized him af- 
terwards. Acts, 16, 32. 33. 

648. g. Tlie external means for administering ba/ptism. 
As in the administering of every Sacrament two essentials 
are to be considered viz: an earthly and a heavenly, we now 
intend, to do this ■^^ith regard to baptism. 

The earthly part of the same is waters For water has 
been used by John, when baptizing near the Jordan, Matth. 
3, 5-, John. 1, 33. Nor has this been altered by the Lord 
Jesus at the time he instituted the Sacrament; nis disciples 
also baptized with water Acts. 8, 38. At the time the, Holy 
Ghost had been poured out upon the believers , on the occa- 
sion of their preaching in the house of Cornelius, Peter 
said: „Can any man forbid water, that these should not be 
baptized?" Acts. 10, 47. Paul moreover calls baptism „the 
washing of the water,"- Ephes. 5, 26. 

649. No other fluid therefore, than pure water is to be 
used for the purposes of baptism. For in the words of its 
institution we are expressly commanded to use water; and 
we read of the Apostles having used the same fluid for their 
baptismal functions. Besides how do we know, that it is not 
God's intention to work regeneration — as far as externals 
are concerned — just by means of water, and to allow only 
such a baptism full value, as has been performed by means 
of water ? 

650. Another essential part in baptism, the heavenly part 
of the same, we find to be the name of the Triune God, or 
as it is expressed in the words of the institution, of the father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the Lord Jesus bids his Apostles 
to go and teach all nations ^baptizing them in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the $sly Ghost,"' Matth. 2,8, 19. 
— And like as the Trinity itself . descended upon the Lord, 
immediately after he had been baptized, so now the Holy 
Ghosf, descends upon him who is being baptized. By this 
act he is adopted by.^"'^ (the Father), who having regene- 
rated him, says to him: this is my beloved son (or daughter) 
with whom I am well pleased; and God the Son washes and 
purifies him from his sins,- Ephes. 5, 26: „That he (Christ) 
might sanctify and cleanse it (his church) with the washing of 
the water by the word." _ Now if a man, by being baptized 
is purified from his sins, this purification must necessarily be 



Chftp. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 195 

Jbrought ^bout by the blood of Christ. For this blood alone, 
and nothing else, cleanseth us from all sin, 1. John. 1, 7; 
Jllphes. 1, 7. — The Holy Ghost ^ves, as it were, the seal 
to this covenant, 2. Cor. 1, 22; he is the „eame8t of our in- 
heritance," Ephes. 1, 14; he „beareth witness with our spirit, 
that we are the children of God," Kom. 8, 16; as it is also 
said, that we are born again by the Spirit, John. 3, 5; whilst 
of baptism we are told, that it is the ^ren^ina of the Holy 
Ghod,'' Titus 3, 6. " y / ^ 

651. h. The ceremonial of this Sacrament. This is to be de- 
termind in accordance with the word baptism. We have the- 
refore to inquire: 

Which action is inmlied by the word baptism, in its ori- 
ginal and proper gigniffcation ? — and What is it intendend 
to signify m the Sacrament before us? 

652. To baptize means to immerse, to sprinHe, to purify 
(§. 632). It is therefore entirely unnecessary to trouble our- 
selves, whether one who is to be baptized ouc/M to be immersed, 
or washed, or sprinkled, seeing that the Mord to baptize, origi- 
nally includes these different significations. It is tnerefore, in 
this respect, quite indifferent in which way baptism is perfor- 
med; and it is advisable for every one to retain the peculiar 
way he has been accustomed to, without giving himself any 
farther concern about it. 

653. Moreover it is to be remembered, that the institution 
of the Sacrament of baptism, did not as much intend the 
mere washing or sprinkling with water, — than rather that this 
washing etc., fee done in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Baptism cannot yet be rightly 
called so, unless a 'gashing or sprinkling has been performed ; 
but it would be a mere washing and not a baptism , if this 
act was not done in the name of the Holy Trinity. 

The term „m the namd'^ denotes, in the first place, that 
baptism has been commanded to be performed by the Holy 
Trmity; just as to go, to speak, to do etc., in the name of 
Lord, means nothing else, as to do these things by His com- 
mands. — It denotes secondly that baptism is performed in 
the strength and by the cooperation of the Triune God. — 
Thus we read of David having slain Goliath in the name, 
that is, by the power of God, 1,. Sam. 17, 45; of Assa ha- 
ving gone out to fight against the Ethiopians in the name 
(that it in the strength) of God and with His assistance, 
2. Chron. 14, 11; of David despising and triumphingover 
his enemies, in the name (in the strength) of the Lord/Pslm. * 
20, 6; 44, 6; 118, 10. — Whereby we learn that baptism is 

13* 



196 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrnment of baptism. 

not intended to be performed in the strength of man , but in 
that of the Triunne God. 

Finally the term „in the name" signifies that, in the per- 
formance of baptism, the Holy Trinity is to be expressly 
named, prayed to and adored. For to speak, to preach and to 
prophesy in the name of the Lord, means nothing else, than 
to speak and to preach the words of the mouth of the Lord ; 
Jerem. 44, 16. 17; Acts. 5,' 40; Luk. 24, 27; Matth. 7, 22. 
— To swear in the name of the Lord means , as much as, in 
the act of performing an oath, to name His name as an holy 
name, and thereby to honour Him; Deutr. 6, 13; 1. Sam. 
20, 46. — To bless in the name of the Lord means: in the 
act of blessing to mention the name of the Lord, and thereby 
to honour Him ns that God, from whom all our blessings 
flow; 2. Samuel. 6, 18; 1. Chron. 17, 2; Pslm. 129, 8; 
Numb. 6, 23iF. : „Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, on 
this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saiying unto 
them: 

„„The Lord bless thee and keep thee; 

.,„The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be 
gracious unto thee; 

„„The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give 
thee peace."" 

And tney shall put my name upon the children of Is- 
rael; and I will bless them." 

All this leads us to the following conclusions. In order 
to bless in the name of the Lord, it is necessary for us to 
name His name, thereby honouring and acknowledging Him 
to be the source of every blessing. To perform miracles in 
the name of the Lord . means : in the act of performing the 
same, expressly to make mention of Christ's name, and by 
means of naming the same to perform miraculus works. 
Thus the Lord Jesus gave unto his disciples power, in his 
name to cast out devils, to heal the sick etc., Mark. 16, 17. 
18; which they accordingly did, performing wonderful works 
by mentioning the name of the Lord, Acts. 3, 6 : „In the 
name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk;" cf. 
ibid, 9, 34; 16, 18. And hke as all these works have been per- 
formed in the name of God and of Christ, by mentioning 
the same, — so we are commanded to perform baptism in 
the. name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy 
Ghost. For giving therefore to the act of baptism its fiill value 
It is necessary, whilst sprinkling the child with water, ex- 
pressly to name the name of the Holy Trinity. 

654. Besides it is not to be overlooked that, in being 
baptised, man is entering a covenant with God, 1 Peter 3, 21. In 



Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. , 197 

making a covenant it is indispensably necessary to niention 
the names Of the contracting parties. And accordingly if a 
man is to enter into a covenant with God, it is but just to 
have mentioned the names of the parties ; more especially to 
show that this covenant is not concluded with idols, "with 
angels , departed saints , or with an unknown God . — but 
with God the Father, the Son mid the Holy Ghost. 

655. We have now to consider 

i, the effect baptism has upon man. It does not appear 
necessary to repeat again, in this place, the eifects by Avhich, 
in genei'alj the Sacraments are accompanied, and to apply 
them more especially to baptism; such as the openly confes- 
sing the faith in Christ, and the fact of their being a seal of 
the promises of God, It but remains for us to state the 
effects which are ascribed, more especially, to the Sacrament 
of baptism. Such are: 

a. The forgiveness of dns: Mrk. 1, 4: „John did baptize 
and preach the baptism of repentance;'-^ Acts. 2, 38: „R6pent, 
, and be baptized every one of you in the aame of Jesus for 
the remission of sins;"- ibid. 22, 16: „ Arise and be baptized 
and wash away thy sinsf Ephes. 5, 26. ff. : „Christ gave him- 
self for the Church, that he might sanctify arid cleanse it 
with the' washing of water by the word, that he might present 
it to himself a glorious Chutch, not having spot, or lorinkle, or 
any such thing; but that it should he holy and without blemish.'" 
Zuch. 13, 1: '„In that day shall be a fojintain opened to the 
house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin 
and uncleanness.^ . 

/3. Ef generation; John. 3, 5: „Except or man be bopi of 
water and of the Spirit" etc. ; Titus. 3, 5. we read that' God 
saved us „by the washing of regeneration"' etc. — Regenera- 
tion again brings about other efrects, such as; adoption which 
is a fruit of our having been born again by the Holy Gliost, and 
accordingly by God. Thus in the new birth we become the chil- 
dren of God ; and if by baptism we become children of God, 
this is brought about by faith, Galat. 3, 26. 27 : ye are all the 
children of God by faith in Jesus Christ; for as many of you 
as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ," — 
Faith again comes bv the hearing of the word, Rom. 10, 17. 
And accordingly we "find Peter, I Epist. 1, 23. mentioning as 
the source of regeneration the divine word: „being born again, 
not of iorruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, 
which liveth and abideth for ever." — Finally faith bringeth 
about the enjoyment of Christ's merits, Galat. 3, 27: „as 
many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on 
Christ."- 



198 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 

y. The covenant with God; 1. Pet. 3, 21 : „bapti8m doth 
save us, not the putting of the filth of the flesh, but the ans- 
wer (coveiiant) of a good conscience towards God." 

S. The renewmd; Titus. 3', 5: „the washing of regeneration 
and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;" Col. 2, 11. 12:,, In whom 
CChiist) ye also are circumcised with the circumcision made 
without hands , in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh 
by the circumcision of Christ : buried with him in baptism, 
wherein ye also are risen with him' through the faith of 
the operation of God." 

e. Eternal life; Mrk. 16, 16: „He that believeth and is 
baptized shall be saved;" cf. 1 Pet. 3, 21. _ This is suffici- 
ent to convince us, that baptism is not meant to serve only as an 
act for openly confessing Christ , or as a sign of regeneration ; — 
but that it is a powerful means in the hand of God,_ whereby 
he performs siich works within man that tend to his eternal 
salvation. 

656. k. Other circumstances connected with baptism. Of these 
we have to mention five different points: 

a. The sponsors, who accompany and carry the child' to 
the font. We think it right here to observe, that the efficacy 
of baptism by no means depends on the presence of such 
sponsors. — But in the case of their undertaking this "charge, 
they take upon themselves the following duties : 

1. as witnesses, to take care that the Sacrament be duly 
administered, in accordance with the words of the institution; 

2. after the child has come to the full use of its senses, 
to testify to the child, that baptism has been really conferred 
upon him, according to Christ s will; 

3. to pray, that it might please God, afler having gra- 
ciously admitted the child into the covenant of his mercy, to 
retain him in the same, to bless him in his body and soul 
and finally to make him an heir of eternal salvation; 

4. to confess in the act of baptism, in the "place of the 
child, the faith in which he desires to be bajitized and after- 
wards brought up; 

5. and, finally, to exert himself to have the child brought 
up in the faith he confessed at the font, and to beware his 
being mislead into errors that might hurt his soul. 

It was for this reason that the Church commanded, in 
the case of baptism, to admit as sponsors none but godly people, 
who might be induced to benefit the children, by putting the 
abovementioned duties into practice. For individuals who 
maintain erroneous doctrines, ought not to be chosen as spon- 
sors, because of their not being fitted for the proper exercise 
of these duties. 



Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 199 

657' jS. Exorcism-, this preceds the act of baptism, and 
consists in the following words „I conjwre thee, thou impure 
spirit, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost that thou leavest and departed from this' servant of 
Jesus Christ" etc. — But by these words it is by no means 
intended to say, that the body of the child is possessed by 
the Evil One. For every one is acquainted with the fact that 
the power Satan has over mnn, is of a twofold nature ; he has 
namely first , power over the body and then, power over the soul. 
The devil has power over the hoai^ of a man, when he has made 
himself, as it were, master of his victim's limbs, using them 
as he listeth; — and over the soul, if he has got the same 
into his power , leading it , according to his pleasure. 
Christ speaks of such a possession of the spirit, Luk. 11, 25. 
26: „And when fte cometh he findeth it (his house) swept 
and garnished; then goeth he and taketh to him seven other 
spirits more wicked than himself; and they eirler in and dwell 



658. Now if, in the act of baptism, we find the devil bid 
to depart from the child, we ought not to understand this to be 
a bodily, but a spiritual possession. Nor are these words 
to be considered as being put to the devil, that thereby the child 
might be delivered from his power, or that they might exer- 
cise any other power over nim ; — they are merely in- 
tended : 

1. To remember those who are present that they are born 
of flesh and in sins. We all, as well as the child that is to 
be baptized, are conceived and born in sins, Pslm. 51, 7; by 
nature children of wrath, Ephes. 2, 3, and accordingly, 
held captive in the power of Satan, until we are made, fk-ee by 
the grace of God ; and 

2. This act is intended to be a figure of the power and 
effects of the act of baptism itself. For by the one act the devil is, 
bid to give up the power he held over the child, and by baptism 
this is accomplished and put into effect. 

659. We do not deny that an exhortation ol this kind (§. 658, 
i) might be conveyed in a more fitting and appropriate man- 
ner. Yet this is no reason for an entire abolition of the act 
of exorcism ; for there is not a ceremony , nor any external 
custom of the Church, which does give room for improvement ; 
while yet to the Church there remains the choice of naving the 
same abolished or not. 

660. y. The sign of the cross, which is drawn with the 
forefinger upon the Isrow and the breast of the child". This is 
not done in order that thereby some spiritual operation might 
be effected upon the child. On the contrary it is only inten- 



200 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of baptism. 

ded to indicate that the child is to be baptized into the death 
of Christ, and being thereby delivered from the power of Satan, 
to make a covenant with God. It is for this and no other 
reason thfit the church has retained this custom. 

661. 8. The not repeating of this Sacrament. Every one 
who has once had baptism conferred upon him, according to 
the commands of Christ, need not- have the same repeated, 
again. The reason of this is, that God, by the act of baptism, 
is making a covenant with man, and if God has once conclu- 
ded this covenant, a repetition of the act tending therutito is 
unnecessary, seeing that the gifts and callings of God are with- 
out repentance, Eom. 11, 29. For although it may happen 
on the part of man, to commit himself by, breaking the cove- 
nant, yet this never comes to pass on the part of God, — as 
long namely as this time of mercy lasts, during which He en- 
tices sinners to become partakers of His covenant. The covenant 
in which God promised not to send any more the flood, we 
do not find to have been repeated, as little as that of circum- 
cision. In the same way we are nowhere commanded to re- 
peat baptism, nor is there anywhere an instance to be found 
of its having been repeated. It is, therefore, best for us to 
obey simply the commands of the Lord, without allowing our 
reason to mislead us on that score. 



->m^*^^^m!^®»$^l^^-i 



201 



Chapter XXVII. 

The Lord't Supper is a Sacrament, in which the Lord Jesus, in the bread 
gives ns to eat his body , and in the wine gives us to drink his blood , in 
order that thereby the benefits of his sufferings and death might be applied to 
every individual, the promises of the Gospel sealed unto him and his faith 

strengthened. 



662. Concerning this Sacrament we have to attend to the 
following particulars, viz to: , 

a. me name of*the same; we find in scripture the follo- 
wing two: 

1. the Lord's Supper, 1 Cor. 11, 20. The reason for this 
is that the Lord, having instituted a meal or supper to be ce- 
lebrated, held the same, for the first time, in company with 
his disciples on an evening, — in the evening on which he 
celebrated the Passover, Matth. 26, 26. ff. And we find St. 
Paul describing the circumstances of the instituting of the 
same, as follows: „the Lord Jesus the same night in which 
he was betrayed took bread" etc. 1 Cor. 11, 23. And al- 
though, in our days, this Sacrament is celebrated inv£iriably 
during day time, yet, with reference to the abovementioned 
circumstance, it is always called the Lord's Supper. 

663. 2. Another e:^pression for the same thing is „the 
Lord's table," I Cor. 10, 21 : „ye cannot drink the cup of the 
Lord and the cup of devils : ye cannot be partakers of the 
Lord's table, ;.nd bf the table of devils." This Sacrament is 
called the Lord's table, because by the same the Lord is pre- 
paring unto us a table laden with heavenly gifts; which gifts 
we partake of, in accordance with' his commands, to the ho- 
nour of His name, and the salva;tion of our souls, of which He 
is the source. — 

664. b. The nature of this Sacrament. With regard to 
this we find the following definition in the [lutheran] catechism. 
Thereby the real body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are 
given to the Christians, to eat and drink them in the bread and 
wine, in accordance with the command of Christ himself. Which 
means: that the Lord's Supper is a spiritual work, instituted 
and ordained by Christ himself, whereby, in the consecrated 
bread, he gives mjto the believer his body to eat, and in the 
consecrated wine his blood to drink, in order thereby to apply 
unto every individual more especially all his Gospel promises, 



202 Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

and s. aling the same, strenghtenes his faith and gives him 
food unto everlasting life. 

665. c. The types by which the Lord's Supper has been 
prefigured, as by a prophety. Of these a great many might 
be mentioned; but we shall confine ourselves to the two pnn- 
cipal ones. 

a. The Passover. This was a supper which had been 
instituted by God and which, as a grateful remembrance of 
His having delivered them from the bondage of Egypt, the 
Jews were commanded to celebrate annually, by eating, on 
the eve of a certain day a lamb etc. Exod. 12, 3. if. In our 
Sacrament also we have a Supper prepared four our use and in the 
same offered unto us a lamb, John. 1,29, yea even a Passover 
1 Cor. 5, 7; this we are commanded to eat in thankful re- 
membrirtnce of our having been delivered with poWer from the 
captivity of hell, Hosea 13, 14; Zach. 9, 11; Micha 2, l3; 
1 Cor. 11, 25; Luk. 22, 19. And like as the children of Is- 
rael by putting the blood of the Passover upon the Kntel and 
the two sideposts of their houses, preserved them from 
the approach of the angel of death, Exod. 12, 23; even so are we 
delivered by the blood of Christ from the power of Satan, 1 
John, 1, 7; Zach. 9, 11; Rom. 3, 25. 

666. The manna, Exod. 16, 15. as also the water that 
sprang from the rock smitten by Moses, Exod. 17, 6. This 
manna the Lord Jesus Christ himself shews to have reference 
to his giving us to eat his body and his blood, John. 6, 48. 
ff.: „I am that bread 'of life; your fathers did e&i- manna in 
the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which COmeth 
down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. 
I am the living bread, which came down from heaven: if any 
man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread 
that I will give is my flesh" etc ; — And St. Paul, in being 
about to speak of the Lord's Supper makes first some 
premises with reference to the two types of the same. „Our 
fathers," says he, „did all ent the same spiritual bread, and 
did all drink the same spiritual drink : for they drank of that 
Spiritual Rock : and that Rock was Christ . . . these things 
were our examples," 1 Cor. 10, 3. 4. 6. 

667. d. We have now to inquire: by whom the smrammt 
of the Lord's Supp&i- has been instituted! We have shewn it 
to be requisite for every Sacrament to be instituted by God 
Himself; this holds good in every respect with regard to the 
Sacrament before us, and accordingly no one ought hold bini- 
self at liberty to change anything m the -mode of its instu- 
tion, or to add anything thereunto, — save God Himself. Now 
we know that Christ is the Son of the Father, whom we are 



Chai). XXVII. Of the sacramunt of the Lord's Supper. 203 

commanded to obey, Matthr. 17, 5; and if he is the Kving 
God, and the messenger sent by God uilto mankind, — then 
the latter are bound to consider his will and his mode of in- 
stitution \>ith regard to a Sacrament as a thing to be obeyed, 
and as one, to alter which no man can be said to have a right 
to. And if the Pope is moMiftg the oMempt to alter anything in 
this testament of the Lord Jems, ' then he proves by this thai he 
is the Aniich/rist; because he changes and abolishes the Testa- 
ment of the Lord Jesus, — a perfidy no honest man even 
would attempt with regard to his neighbour; „A testament is 
offeree after men are dead," Heb. 9, 17: „though it be but a 
man's'' covenant (testament, vide margin), yet if it be confirmed, 
no man disannaueth or addeth thereto,"- Gal. 3, 15. 

668. c. The Individual who is called upon to dispense that Sa- 
crament. In this relpect we have to attend to the two follo- 
wing inquiries, viz: 

ct. -To whom the dispensing of this Sacrament ought to be 
entrusted. We answer that, as the Lord Jesus Christ has or- 
daineid his Apostles to be • „the stewards 9f the mysteries of 
God," 1 Cor. 4, 1 , it is evident that the dispensing of the Sa- 
crament of the Lord's Supper forms part of the duty of the pro- 
perly ordained ministers of the Church. And as, in the case 
of this Sacrament, no such cases of urgency can happen, as 
we have admitted sometimes to come to pass in the case of 
baptism, no other persons, than such as are ordained 
ought to be pBitoiitted to administer the Lord's Supper. Nor 
do we aHj'Wnere find any command to this purpose, nor any 
instances of such a deviation from the rule ever having been 
permitted. 

669.', I?. Suppose a minister of the word to be the only offi- 
ciating minister in a Stuyfammt, is such a one, if intending to 
communicate, to go to another clergyman in order to receive the 
Sacrament from his hand? Answer. It is most advisable for 
a minister with regard to the Lord's Supper always to jom 
his Congregation. For in preaching to his flock, does he not 
also thereby preach to himself? even so in dispensing the 
Communion, he may dispense the same to himself? For 

1. we are nowhere commanded to receive the Sacraments 
from the hands of others. For though the Lord Jesus commands 
us : to take and e<a, it is not necessary to take the elements frpm 
the hands of any other man. Thus we do not find, that the 
Manna of old had been put into the* hands or the mouths of 
the children of Israel. 

2. It is most probable that the Lord Jesus gave the bread 
and the wine into the hands of his disciples, who conveyed 
them to their mouths themselves. Such is also done in our daysj: 



204 Chap. XXVn. Ofthesacrament of theLord's Supper. 

ibr every one who receives the- Sacrament in accordance with 
the institution of Christ, receives the same, as it were, from 
the hands of Christ; and _ u u 

3. There is no reason why such a communion should not 
be permitted, or prove inefficacious. i • i 7 ■ 

670. y. Whether a mode of Communion in which the mi- 
nister dispenses the elements unto himself is also admissable in 
Churches where' several ministers are officiating^ at the Sacra- 
ment ? The Sacrament cannot lose anything either of its sub- 
stance, its efficacy or its effects, be it that the minister dis- 
penses the Sacrament to himself, or that it is given him by 
another. It is this accordingly an Adiaphoron, a question of 
little importance, and one left to the free disposal of every 
Church. If it is. therefore the, custom in any Church, for the 
minister to receive the Communion from the hands _ of his 
colleague in the office, like the rest of the congregation, — 
this may be retainbd as being in accordance with the mode of 
Christ's institution. Nor is the opposite custom of a minister 
giving unto himself the elements to be rejected or abolished, 
wherever such a custom happens to exists. 

671. f. We have now to consider the Communicants, or 
those, who are called upon to receive the sacrament and to whom 
it is to be administered. In this respect we have te inquire: 

1. Who it is, that in approaching the Lord's Supper really 
receives the same. Two sorts of persons generally come to 
the table of the Lord, viz : such as are worthy to receive the 
same , and such as are unworthy. Now, although the Lord's 
Supper has not been instituted that it might be received by 
such as are unworthy, and although it is not God who renders 
any one unworthy of the same, ^- yet we read of such, who, 
though they have been unworthy have yet been admitted to 
circumcision and to the Passover, although without coming. to 
the enjoyment of the benefits which these ordinances were cal- 
culated to confer. In the same way such as have not exami- 
ned themselves, do receive [under tbe New Testament dispen- 
sation] the bread and wine and thereby the body and the 
blood of Christ, — although they do so unto death and con- 
demnation. This can be proved by the following facts : 

a. The Lord Jesus mew the unworthy Judas to pe among 
the number of his disciples, and yet said to all, without making 
any distinction: take and eat, this is my body etc., thereby 
giving his body not only to such as were worthy, only,- but 
also to the unworthy Judas. If any one should have some 
doubts of Judas's having been really present on that occasion 
we refer him to what is to be read Matth. 26, 25 ; Mrk. 14, 
21. 22. and especially Luk. 22, 19. 20. 21. For Luke, after 



Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.- 205 

ha\Tng related the institution of the Lord's Supper, adds the 
words the Lord himself had spoken: Behold, the hand of him 
that hebrayed me, is with me on the table. 

' 673. B. The unworthy do partake of the whole sacrament. 
Else the Sacrament would, in the first place, be made to de- 
pend on the faith of man and not from the will of him who 
instituted the same ; and accordingly where there was no faith, 
there could not be a Sacrament. But th\g would stand in 
direct contradiction to the words of the Apostle Paul, Kom. 
3, 3: „ShaU their (men's) unbelief make the faith of God 
without efect ? God forbid." Finally in such circumstances,' the 
unworthy receives either nothing af all of the essentials of the 
Sacrament, or but part of the same. Which is altogether 
nonsense. 

674. /. The same is done in other religious acts. Thus 
the stiffnecked and the unworthy hear the word of God prea- 
ched to thenQ, quite as completely as the worthy; the unwor- 
thy receive japfem; they were admitted to circumcision and 
to the Passover, without anything being detained from them, 
Exod. 24, 8. — Why then should such as are unworthy, not 
be allowed to receive the Sacrament as a whole? 

675. 8. The unworthy, like those who are worthy, eat of 
the. bread which is the „commumon of the body of Christ;" they 
,,drink of ilie cup of Messing" which is ,^communion of the body 
of Christ," 1 Cor. 10, 16; „ Whosoever shall eat this bread 
and drink this cup of the Lord, etc. 1 Cor. 11, 27: „but let 
a man examine himself, and so let him eat'- etc., ibid. v. 28, 
29. — From this we conclude, that every one who eats of 
the bread which is the communion of the body of Christ, does 
thereby not only receive bread but also the body of Christ. 
Sfich bread is eaten by the unworthy, accordingly they must 
be Sriid in the Sacrament to receive not only bread, but 
also the body of Christ. 

676. 6. The unworthy, in that they unworthily eat and drink 
make themselves guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord 
Jesus, because thliy do not discern the Lord's lady; 1 Cor. 11, 
27: „Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of 
the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and the 
blood of the Lord ;" v. 29 : „for he that eateth and drinketh 
unworthilv, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not dis- 
cerning tie Lord's body." Whosoever does not eat the body 
of Christ nor drink his blood cannot make himself guilty by 
eating and drinking' the same , nor is he required to discern 
the Lord's ;body. But as the unworthy do make themselves 
guilty by eating etc., and by not discerning, it follows that. 



206 Ghap. XXVII. 0( the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

in the Sacrament, the urlworthy do receive the body and the 
blood of Christ. 

677. 2. Again we have to inquire: to whom this Sacrament 
is to be administered. The Lord's Supper has been ordained 
for the benefit of all men, because Christ has given his body 
and shed his blood for all without exception. Nevertheless a 
certain preparation is necessary, on the part of man, in order 
to receive the same worthily, unto life and not unto condem- 
nation. Accordingly, before approaching the Lord's table, 
every one is required to examine himself „whether he be in the 
faith" 2 Con 13, 5. and „to shew the Lord's death until he 
come," 1 Cor* 11, 26. Every one ^^ho is putting this in 
practice, is at liberty to approach the Lord's table. But of 
this preparation subsequently. 

678. To the Sacrament are not to be admitted all those, 
who do not approach the same in a state of mind conforma- 
ble to the ordinance of the Lord, — or such of whom it is 
known that they do not examine themselves. Some are there- 
fore excluded from coming to the Lord's Supper, either by 
natural causes, or by other obstacles. 

The natural obstacles are twofold: 

a. Want of the full enjoyment of reason, as is the case, 
for instance, with children, who cannot be expected to examine 
themselves or to shew forth the Lord's death; — or with those, 
who, although they have arrived at a proper age, havg yet so 
weak and infirm an intellect, as not to admit their being 
properly taught to examine themselves and to shew forth the 
Lord's death. 

679. ^. The dislike which some persons feel to drinking 
wine; this is sometimes the. case, though not frequently. With 
some it is possible to overcome the dislike in so far, as to 
take the least drop of it, and this is to be considered suffi- 
cient ibr the purposes of the Sacrament. But if even this 
should be impossible for any man, then it ought to be evident 
to him, that he has been entirely excluded by nature from 

Eartaking the Sacrament. For let it be remembred that Christ 
as no-wiiere ordained in the Sacrament the bread alone to be 
taken; and accordingly nobody ought to feel himself at liberty, 
to_ celebrate the Sacrament with bread alone. — Nevertheless 
this defect is not to be considered as in any way detrimental 
to the salvation of him, who has been afflicted therewith. The 
spiritually eating and drinking of the body and the blood of 
Christ, we may rest assured, would be, in a case of this des- 
cription, productive of eternal salvation, John. 6, 51. — Other ob- 
stacles of man's not coming to the Lord's table are : 

680. Unbelief. For a man who has not faith, cannot ex- 



Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 207 

amine himself as to whether he be in the faith? or to what 
purpt)ses the Lord has died; or why he was to shew forth 
the Lord's death etc.; such a one would receive the Sacra- 
ment, unworthily and to his own condemnation, and is not be 
admitted to the Sacrament. 

681. Erroneous doctrines. All that has been said concer- 
ning unbelief, holds also guod with regard to erronous doctrines. 
For thereby the f!iith is overthrown, 1 Tim. 1, 19; 4, 1; 2 
Tim. 2, 18. And if we are sure of a man not having of a 
truth the saving faith, such a one cannot worthily receive the 
Sacrament. Much less could the Sacrament be to such a one 
a symbol and a token of the faith copfessed in the church, 
since he himself is of a different opinion. Besides if, with re- 
ference to one who does not hold the right doctrine, we are 
bid not even to receive him into our house, nor to bid 
him God speed: how much less should such a one be per- 
mitted to partake with us of the Lord's Supper? 

■682. Such sins as are publicly committed in spite of the 
warnings of conscience, and which a man is determined not to 
leave of, or to repent; Every one who is in such a state is not 
able to value the great merits of Christ, is earthly and car- 
nally minded, and an enemy of the cross of Christ, Phil. 3, 
18. 19. He is not examining himself because he cannot see 
his own sins; nor does he take his refuge in Christ, but on 
the contrary he crucifies him anew, Heb. 6, 6 ; 10, 29. — Such 
an Individual is even unworthy of our joining with him in 
some ordinsiry meal, 1 Cor. 5, 11 : „lf any man that is called 
a brother be a fornicator or covetous, or an idolater, or a trai- 
tor, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one (I have 
written unto you) not to eat.''' Much less is such an unworthy 
guest to be admitted to the Lord's table. 

683. g. What it is, we are commanded to receive in the 
Lord's Supper. Tis is of a twofold nature, namely earthly 
and heavenly. 

The mrthh/ matter we receive in the Sacrament is bread 
and wine. — In the words of the institution we read that the 
Lord Jesus took bread and blessed it etc. It was this u?dea- 
vened bread, because the Jews were at that time celebrating 
the .Passover, and accordingly not permitted to have any 
leaven about them, Exod. 12, 18. ff. On account of this [acci- 
dental] circumstance the Enemy has sucoeded in bringing 
about divers contentions in the church, which induces us to 
make the following olDservations with regard to the bread. 

a. Eoery thing that, by being jyrepared from flour rnnd wa- 
ter, is entitled to be called bread, is admissable to thp pwrposes 
of the Sacrament. It makes no difference, whether sucb'bread 



208 Chap. XXVII. Ofthe Sacrament ofthe Lord's Supper. 

be leavened or not ; whether it be composed of wheat or any 
other grain; whether if be so large, that many could receive of 
the same piece , or so small that every communicant had to 
receive a whole one for himself etc. For all these things are 
accidental, and do not by any means bring about any change 
in the substance of the bread itself. 

684. We [the lutherans] employ in the Sacrament in our 
thurch thin cakes or wavers-, and are convinced that thereby no 
prejudice is done to that Sacrament. Nor does it concern us 
in the least if we are told by some, that thereby we do not 
conform to the commands of Christ. 

685. /?. Every thing that, in the common way qf speaking, 
could not be called bread, is not to be used in the Sacrament. 
For that which has been baked of roots, barks, or the ashes 
of trees, could not properly be called bread. If therefore any 
one should intend to use for the Sacraments a production of 
the above mentioned materials, such an one would thereby, at 
least break the express command ol the Lord ; nor could he 
be quite sure, whetner the substance he used had been really 
bread, and whether he had not profaned" the Lord's Supper, 
by using a substance which he had not been commanded to 
use. 

686. With regard to the wine used in the Sacrament, we 
have to observe , that it must have been a substance of that 
description which the Lord made use of in the institution of 
the Sacrament, since we do not read of any other fluid ex- 
cept the wine having been used on that occasion; Matth! 26, 
28. 29: „This is my blood of the new testament, which is 
shed for many for the remission of sins. But I siyunto you, 
I will not eat of the fruit of the vine until" etc. — Nor has 
the fact of 'the Lord's having used wine on that occasion ever 
been questioned. In the Sacrament it is therefore not to per- 
mitted to mix the wine with any other substance, much less 
to substitute any other fluid in its place. 

687. The Eomish Church, professedly in order to give to the 
Sacrament a greater perfection, has made it a law to have 
the wine that is used to this purpose mixed up with icater. 
But this is nothing but a human tradition, and contradicts 
the ordinance of Christ. It is true that the wine, in that state 
in which we- receive the same , might have been already mixed 
up with water. But as the wine still remains wine, the I st 
mentioned circumstance can in no way whatever prejudice the 
efficacy^ of the Sacrament. For as no man is able to con- 
vince himself that the wine contained no water whatsoever, every 
Individual almost would have to despair of his ever having 
rightly and properly received the Sacrament. But this fact is 



Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 209 

in no way giving any support to the superstition maintained 
by the Komish Churcn, that the wine ought to be mixed with 
water. — We just take the wine as good and as pure as we 
are able to get it , without giving us any farther concern. 

688. In tne case of wine not being able to be got, or of 
some one using any other fluid, as beer, brandy etc. — it is 
not to be imagined, that thereby the Sacrament had been 
performed in conformity with the will of Christ, who when 
mstituting the same , used the fruit of the vine ; his command 
would have thereby been trespassed, and no Sacrament at all 
celebrated. 

689. The heavenly part we receive in the Sacrament is 
the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is given us to eat 
in and with the bjipad, and his hlood, which is given us to 
drink in and with the wine. That this is really the case, can 
be proved from the following reasons: 

690. 1. The Lord Jesus in the act of the instituting the 
Sacrament has commanded his disciples to eat and to drink his 
body and his blood in these words: „take eat; this is my body 
that has been given unto you: drink ye all of it; for this is my 
blood of the New testament which is shed for you," Matth. 
14, 22. 24; Luk. 22, 19. 20; 1 Cor. 11, 24. 25. — From this 
it is easy to perceive that Christ in giving to the disciples 
the bread, has also given them thereby his body; and in gi- 
ving them the wine he gave them also his blood. Thus we 
are able to draw the following conclusions: that whatever 
Christ did name in the act of giving the bread, the same he 
has really given, as it is also the case in every day life, that 
whatever you name you are really understood to be giving. 
If anybody in offering you a cup should say to you: drink, 
this is wine, you will certainly expect to have given to you 
the cup along with the wine contained in the same. If a 
medical man is offering you a vessel, saying: take this, it 
contains a healthy draught, you will in taking the same, look 
for nothing else but the beneficial draught. 

691. The same principle is carried through in Scripture, 
and in the Church in general. If, for instance, we are told 
in Scripture concerning Christ , that „the word became flesh, 
John. 1, 14, we find this explaind by St. Paul Colos. 2, 9. 
in the following sentence: „in him dwelleth the fulness of the 
Godhead bodily." 

692. Now in offering the bread, the Lord Jesus expressly 
named and commanded nis body to be eaten, and in offering 
the wine his blood to be drunk ; we conclude therefore that he 
has given his body to be eaten and his blood to be drunk. 

b93. We ought not to be misled by the fact that other 

14 



210 Chap. XXVIT. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

people have given to this word different explanations, main- 
taining that the ^\ords „thJS is my body" have a different 
meaning from what their plain sense is. Thus they assert 
that the particle „this" in the beginning of the sentence has 
reference to the bread [as if it was intended to say : that 
bread is my body]; that the word „is" means as much as 
„signifies," as if Christ had intended to say „the bread signi- 
fies my boili/."-,' Others again affirm the term ,,body" in this 
passage to imply as much as : „that is a token of my body ;" 
thereby paraphrasing the whole sentence as follows : „this bread 
is a token of my body." 

But all these explanations are to be looked upon as hu- 
man inventions , which it would be easy for vain reason to 
miijtiply- But as long as ^\e keep close to the word, and to 
its simple meaning, it is alniost impossible for us to be led into 
error; whilst explanations that have their source only in our 
own brains, have too little secu^'ity, as that our consciences 
should be able to find peace through the same. 

695. Besides this way of speaking it quite unusual in all 
languages, as well as in scripture. What could induce Christ 
to employ such a new way of expressing himself? Especially 
on the occasion of his making his testament, in the act of 
which every other testatoi' usnally is most solicitous of em- 
ploying the plainest terms, and the most easily understood 
expressions, in order to prevent any contentions arising bet- 
ween his heirs in consequence of dark and unintelligible expres- 
sions. That such has been intended by the Lord, no godly 
heart will be induced to affirrn. 

696. 2. The Lord Jesus lias commanded that his body should 
be eaten and his blood drwnk by our bodily mouth. From which 
we conclude: that whatever in the Lord's Supper we are 
commanded to eat and to drink with our mouth, must be es- 
sentially present in the ^ame, and naust constitute a material 
part of the spiritual Supper. We are commanded in the Lord's 
bupper to eat the body and drink the blood of the Lord Jcr 
sus, which niakes it necessary for the body and the blood of 
th,e Lord Jesus to be really present in the Lord's Supper, 
(Constituting a material part of .the spiritual Supper. 

697. 3; The bread in the Lord's Supper is the communion 
of the body of Christ, and the wine the communion of the blood 
of Christ; 1 Cor. 10, 15, 16: ,,I speak as to wise men; judge 
ye what I S;ay: the cup of blessing which we bless, is it nut the 
communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, 
is it not the communion of the body of Christ?''^ By which we 
have evidenced: 

N. that the terms „body" and „blood" intend to signify 



Chap. XXVn. Ofthe sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 211 

nothing else than Christ's essential body and his essential 
blood; and 

2- that by the term „cup" the wine is implied that is con- 
tained in the same. 

This leads us to the following conclusion : either the bread 
in the Lord's Supper is a spiritual communion by which all 
the benefits of Christ are applied unto us; — or it is such a 
sacramental communion by which the body of the Lord Jesus 
is given unto, and accepted by, us with the bread. 

698. That the bread in not merely such a spiritual com- 
munion can be proved as follows : 

a. This spiritual communion exists also without this sa- 
crament, whilst by the latter a communion is spoken of which 
is to be the effect af the Sacrament and of nothing else. 

^. If such a spiritual communion was intencjed, then the 
sacrifices of the old Testament must also have been the com- 
munion of the body and of the blood of Christ, because 
they were intended as types of the things to come, Col. 2, 17. 

y. In the spritual communion the benefits of Christ are 
laid hold of by us, without any distinct reference to his body 
or his blood. But in the Sacrament, the bread is to be the 
communion not of the blood, but the body of Christ, — and the 
wine not of body, but of the blood of Christ. Which proves 
that the Lord's Supper is not intended, to be a spiritual, but 
a sacramental communion, in which the real body of the Lord 
Jesus is to be given and received. It has been proved, that 
the bread is not such a spiritual communion; and accordingly 
it must be a sacramental communion, in which the real body 
of Christ is offered and received with the bread. 

699. 4. The distinction between the Sacrament of the old 
and that of the new Testament consits in the fact, that in the first 
the Lord Jesus has been merely prefigured, whilst in the other 
he is bodily present. Thus, for instance , St. Paul writes con- 
cerning the worship of the Jews, that it was : „a shadow of 
things to come, but the body is of Christ," ~Col. 2, 17; Heb. 8, 
5. 6. „Who (the levitical Priests) serve unto the example and 
shadow of heavenly things. But now hath he obtained a more 
excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of 
a better covenant;" ibid. 9, 9. ff. : „ Which (the first tabernacle) 
was a, figure for the time then present, in which were offered 
both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the 
service perfect, as partaining to the conscience, which stood 
only in meats and drinks and divers washings, and cnrnal or- 
dinances imposed on them until the time of reformation. But 
Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, 
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made Avith 

14* 



212 Chap. XXVII. Of the saf.rament of the Lord's Supper. 

hands ; neithsr by the blood of bulls nnd goats, but by Ms own 
blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained 
eternal redemption for us •," ibid. 10, 1 : „the law has the sha- 
dow of good things to come, and not the substance." 

700. From this Ave conclude: that peculiarity by which 
the sacraments of the Old and New Testament are distinguis- 
hed from each other, cannot be common to both. But this 
distinction consists in the fact that the Sacraments of the Old 
testament were only types, shadows and figures of the Christ 
that was to come; whilst this is not the case with those of 
the New testament, which can therefore not be said to be but 
figures and types. There are only these two ways : the sa- 
craments of the New testament have either Christ, in his sub- 
stance and nature, present with them, or only in figvire. That 
the latter cannot be the case has been proved just now, and 
accordingly, we come to the conclusion, that they have really 
Christ in his substance and nature present with them. 

701. h. The ceremonial of this Sacrament. The Sacra- 
ment being an holy action, it is necessary when celebrating 
the same, in every respect to conform to the commands of 
Christ. Three different parties we find engaged in this solemn 
proceeding, viz.- the officiating minister, the' Lord .Tesus and 
the communicants. ^ 

702. The duty of the minister consits : 

In the first place, in the consecrating , thanksgiving or 
blessing of the bread and wine. The Lord Jesus, we are told, 
in being about to institute this Sacrament, took bread and 
blessed it, Matth. 26, 26 ; in conformity to which St. Paul 
calls the cup „the cup of blessing which we bless," 1 Cor. 10, 
16. The exact words which the Lord Jesus and subsequently 
the primitive Church, employed for the purpose of this bles- 
sing, are entirely unknown to us. We [the lutheransl in 
blessing the bread, make use of the Lord's Prayer and of the 
words of the institution. This thanksgiving and blessing is 
not _ merely intended to serve as an historical relation of the 
institution, whereby, and by the crossing of the same, the 
bread and wine are to be changed into the body and blood of 
the Lord Jesus. They are done for no other purpose than to 
signify that this solemn act is now about to be performed, 
that the bread and wine have been withdrawn from common 
use, and set apart to this special purpose. Moreover, in rea- 
ding the. words of the institution, tlie Lord Jesus is, as it 
were, to be reminded of the promises given at the occasion 
of the institution, in conjunction with the prayer that it might 
please hjm at this time also, to give to the communicants his 



Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 213 

body and his blood; finally that the Lord's death might be 
shewn forth on that occasion. 

703. Another duty of the minister is the distribution of the 
Sacrament. This is necessary to enable great numbers to 
attend the Sacrament, and yet to have eveiy thing done ove- 
derly and with decorum. And if this distribution is brought 
about in such a way that every communicant is able to receive 
the consecrated wine and bread with befitting reverence, then 
this part of the Sncrament has been done justice to. It is in 
either case not to be looked upon as an error, if the commu- 
nicant had the bread and the wine given him into his hands, 
as has been done most probably by the Lord Jesus, or if it 
had been put into his mouth. — But this whole act is made 
void by the mass, An which the Priest alone is permitted to 
take the bread and the wine, without distributing the same to 
the congregation. 

704. There are some, who are of opinion that to the 
abovementioned duties of the minister, two others are to be 
added, the first of which of the breaking of the bread; because 
the Lord Jesus and professedly also the members of the pri- 
mitive church, are said to have broken bread on the occasion 
of the Sacrament. But this has been done for the following 
reasun. At the time that the Lord instuted the Sacrament, 
he was just eating the Passover Avith his disciples; on which 
occasion also, because of the feast, the unleavened bread 
was used. And being about to distribute the bread lie was 
most naturally compelled to break the same, since this bread 
never was baked in so small a size as would have rendered 
unnecessary the breaking of the same. For this and no other 
reason he Drake the bread, which breaking has been imitated 
for the same reasons by the primitive Church. The necessity 
of distributing from a large lump of consecrated bread made 

• the breaking of the same unavoidable. And wherever the 
bread used is of so small a size that the breaking of the 
same does not appear requisite — either of which is left to 
the free option of the church — then, of course; the brea- 
king of the bread is not called for, and may be omitted — 
provided always that (in both cases) it be done without any 
mixture of superstition. 

705. But if it should be objected that the breaking of the 
bread is requisite because of its being a type of the body of 
the Lord Jesus having been broken upon the cross, — then 
we have a twofold answer; 

1. Whosoever teaches the sauie to be requisite for the 
Sacrament, is obliged to evidence the necessity of the same. 
We deny that the Lord Jesus, in adding to the ^vords of his 



214 Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

institution the expression : ^this do" had any intention of com- 
manding anything of the kind. For it is evident that he 
desired nothing more than to command his disciples, hence- 
forward to do the same thing he was just about to do, viz : 
to eat and to drink. 

706. 2. We do not believe the breaking of the bread, as 
a reference to the broken body of the Lord Jesus, to be re- 
quisite in the Sacrament. For neither the Evangelists, nor 
St. Paul make any allusion to this end, whereupon this asser- 
tion might be rested. On the same prindple we would have 
to shed the vntw, in order to remember Christ's having shed 
his blood for us. And as little as the latter will be said to 
be necessary, so will it be also with the bread. The types 
and shadows that were to prefigure Christ have been made 
an end of in that Christ came, who is the substance of these 
shadows. But in making the bread a type of Christ's broken 
body, we would have again types and figures, which would 
be contrary to the very spirit of the New Testament. Besides 
it ought to be remembered that the Passover which had to 
be killed, and the blood of which had to be sprinkled over 
the door of the house, would have been a much more intel- 
ligible type of Christ's crucifiction, than the mere breaking of 
the bread in the Sacrament. " And, accordingly, if Christ bad 
really intended to ordain some figure of his death being used 
in the Sacrament, in abolishing the Passover and introducing 
the breaking of the bread he would have abolished the intel- 
ligible type, in «rder to substitute for the same something 
less intelligible. But an assertion of this kind will not be 
allowed to be admissible. 

707. Another duty of the officiating minister (ef. §. 704) 
some maintain to be the celebration of the Mass. In the 
Romish Church the Lord's Supper is made to be a sacrifice. 
They maintain that immediately after the Priest had perforn 
med certain ceremonies over the bread and wine, said several 
prayers and read the words of the institution, (iie bread and 
wine iire changed into the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus. 
Upon which this body and tlais blood of our Lord Jesus 
Christ are, by the Priest, offered as a sacrifice for the washing 
away and the forgiveness of our sins, not only of Kving man, 
but also of the dead, whose souls are retained in purgatory. 
— • But the Lord's Supper cannot be changed into such a sa- 
crifice, ii-om the following reasons: 

708. 1. Tlu Sacrament has not been ordained for this pur- 
pose^ by the Lord Jesus. The Sacraments are not sacrifices; 
for in the Sacrament it is God that gives unto man, whilst 
in the sacrifice it is man that gives unto God. Now in the 



Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Suj)i)er. 215 

Lord's Supper it is God that gives unto man, namely bread 
and wine> and thereby the body and blood of His Son, whilst 
we on our part (in conformity with the plain commands of the 
Institution), give nothing unto God, — the spiritual offerings 
of our heart, our ])rayer, our praise and thanksgiving Sl- 
waye excepted, which have no reference to the case before 
us.^ This proves that the Lord's Supper was intended to be 
a Sacranient and not a sacrifice. 

Again in the Lord's Supper it is intended, that we should 
shew forth the Lord's death, — whilst the mass is perfortned 
inaudibly and in an unknown tongue. ^ The Lord's Supper 
has beeh instituted but for the living, and by no means for 
the dead; — the mass is performed for the dead as well as 
for the living. — Finally the Sacrament has been instituted 
for the purpose of Christ's merciful works being applied imto 
us, and our faith strengthened; — whilst the mass is perfoi'- 
med for the benefit of a variety of things , such as , travels, 
voyages, sucoesful wars etc., — circumstances which, in them- 
selves, have no connection whatsoever with the Lord's Supper. 

709i 2. The sacrifice which the Lord Jesus has inade oj 
his body, lias abolished every other ewpiatory sacrifice. For 

a. We are frequently told in the New testament that 
Christ, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, has 
therebjr fulfilled all that Avhich has been typified by the sacri- 
fices of old, Hebr. 9, 28: ,,Christ was once ofered to bear the 
sins of many," ibid. 10, 10 : „by the which will we are sancti- 
fied through the ofiering of the body of Jems Christ once for 
all;'-'- V. 14: „for by one offering he hath perfected for ever 
them that are sanctified;" Rom. 6, 10: „iu that he died, he 
died unto sin once-," 1. Pet. 3, 18: „Christ has once suffeii'ed 
for sins." — From this we conclude, that : whatever has been 
done once for all, need and ought not to be repeated again; 
and as we learn the sacrifice for the sin of man to nave 
been offered once for all, it follows that it need and ought 
not to be done over and over again. 

710. We find it stated to be the distinguishing mark bet- 
ween the Lord Jesus Christ and the priests of the Old Testa- 
ment, that the latter had to make every day sacrifices _ for the 
sins of the people, whilst the Lord Jesus had accomplished the 
same thing once for all by his men sacrifice. 1. Heb. 7, 26. 27: 
„Fbr such an High Priest became us," who nedeed not daily- 
as those High Priests, to offer up sacrifice first for his own 
sins, and then for the people; for this he did once, when he 
ofered up himself;" ibid. Chap. 9, 12: „Neither by the blood 
rf goats and calves, but by his own blood be (Christ) entered 
in once into the holy ^/acc, ' having obtained eternal redemption 



216 Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

for us;" V, 25, 26: „Chri8t is not entered into the holy pla- 
ces made with hands . . . nor yet that he should offer himself 
often, as the ERgh Priest entereth into the holy place every year 
with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered 
since the foundation of the world : but now once in the end of 
the world has ke appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of 
himself;" Chapt, lO, 11. 12; „Every High Priest standeth 
daily ministering and oiFering oftentimes the same sacrifices, 
which can never take away sin; but this man, after he had 
offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right 
hand of God." — From all this we conclude: that, as the 
priests of the Old Testament are distinguisted fi-om the Lord 
Jesus by the circumstance that they had to repeat the sacri- 
fice for the same thing, yea to offer ever^ day sacrifices for 
the sins of many, and that the High Priest was permitted 
only once in the year to enter the Most Holy — whilst we 
are expressly told that Christ has effected all this once for 
all by his one sacrifice: it is evident that Christ cannot now 
be said daily to offer that same sacrifice whenever the Mass 
is read, — but that on the contrary, such a sacrifice stands 
in direct opposition to the sacrifice made once for all. 

711. y. If ii was really necessary for the sacrifice of Christ 
to be daily repeated, we would have to conclude, that his sacri- 
fice on the cross has not been complete. Under the old Testa- 
ment dispensation is was necessary to offer often times the 
same sacrifices, because they were imperfect, Heb, 10, 1. ff.: 
„For the law . . . can never with those sacrifices which they 
offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto 
perfect, for then would they not have ceased to be offered; be- 
cause that the worshippers once purged should have had no 
more conscience of sin; . . . for it is not possible that the 
blood of bulls and goats should take away sins;" ibid. v. 11: 
„every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftenti- 
mes which can never take away sins." And v. 18 we find the 
following put down as a rule: „ Where remission of sins is, 
there is no more offering for sin," From this we are able to 
make the following deduction : forgiveness of sins is brought 
about by the sacrifice made by Christ once for all; and con- 
sequently by this sacrifice every other sacrifice for sins, accor- 
dingly also the sacrifice of the mass has been abolished. If 
we do not admit this, we must reason thus: After Christ's 
sacrifice there remains still a sacrjfice to be brought for sin, 
consequently in Christ's sacrifice there is not forgiveness of 
sins. 

712. 3. In the sacrifice of the Mass no blood is shed.. But 
in the Epistle to the Hebrei\'s we are fold (Chap. 9, 22): 



Chap. XXVII, Olthe sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 217 

„vri^out shedding of blood is no remission.'-' Consequently in 
every sacrifice for sin blood is to be shed. But in the mass 
there is no shedding of blood, nor has the same ever been affirmed 
to be a bloody sacrifice; therefore the mass is no sacrifice 
for sins. 

Nor is it anything against us, if it is affirmed that in 
the Mass titer e_ is the Mood of the Lord Jesus CJirist. For even 
supposing this to be true, there is yet no shedding of blood 
in it; but this shedding we know to be indispensably ne- 
cessary. For those who brought oxen and calves in order to 
sacrifice them unto the Lord, did not derive any benefit from 
the blood contained in these animals, unless it was shed. 
Thus, though the mass did contain blood it could yet not 
purify us, unless it be shed; but as this is not the case, the 
mass can never be*looked upon as AjpropUiatory offerirw. 

713. As another [essential part] in the Lord's Supper 
(§. 701), we have to consider the Lord Jesus and the works 
he performs by means of the same, of ■vl^hich the most impor- 
tant is : the Sacramental union of his body with the consecra- 
ted bread, and of his blood with consecrated cup. We have 
seen already that, in the opinion of the Apostle Paul, the 
consecrated bread is the communion of the body, and the con- 
secrated cup the communion of the blood of Christ. Where 
there is such a communion, there must also be a union, and 
the bread must therefore be united with the body and the cup 
with the blood of Christ. The manner in which this union 
is brought about, we have no other means of learning than 
by the words of Christ, when he says: eat, this is my body; 
(frink this is my blood. Whereby we understand that the two 
are united together in such a way, that, with the bread, we 
eat the body, and, with the wine, we drink the blood of 
Christ. The attempt to enter more deeply into this mystery 
is as useless as it is unprofitable, since not more is revealed 
unto us concerning this matter. — The reader's attention is 
requested to the two following considerations. 

714. A.. That the bread and wine are not essentially 
changed into the body and blood of Christ; so that as it were 
these materials did not remain either bread and wine, but only 
retained the outward appearance of the same. That this is 
not the case can be proved from the facts: 

a. That there is no indication of such a change to be 
found in scripture, — from whence alone a doctrine like this 
could draw its support. For although the Lord Jesus, when 
instituting the Sacrament said: ,,Thi8 is m;^ body," yet did 
he thereby not intend to signify any material change in the 
bread , as we shall prove immediately. In order to testitify 



218 Chap. XXVII. Ofthe sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

the union of the two natures it is said concerfiiog the Lord Je- 
sus that: „the word was made flesh," John. 1, 14; yet is it 
thereby not intended to indicate that the Word had been es- 
sentially changed into flesh; and eiaCtly so the expression 
„this is my body" signifies nothing more than the union of the 
bread with the body, but not that the one has been essentially 
changed into the other. 

715. /S. St. Paul writes concerning the consecrated bread, 
that it is ,jthe communion of the body of Christ," 1. Cor. 
10, 16. — Now it is well known that two distinct parties are 
required wherever there is to be an union. That which /tas 
the communion must be different from that which is the com- 
munion; and accordingly the bread which has the communion 
of Christ's body, must be different from that body of Christ, 
whose communion is called bread. 

716. y. St. Paul, in speaking ofthe Sacramental act treats 
the bread used in the same as bread and as nothing else, 
1. Cor. 11, 26. 27. 28: „As often as ye eat this bread, and 
drink this eup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come; 
whereforei whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup 
of the Lord, unworthily shall be guilty , of the body find the 
blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so 
let him eat of that bread" etc. Now if the bread, after ha- 
ving been consecrated, had been essentially changed into the 
body of Christ, Paul could not have spoken of it as bread 
that was to be eaten. 

717. 8. It is impossible for the body which had taken 
its flesh from the virgin Mary, to be created a^-ain by a 
change in the bread. For if this was possible then the Lord 
Jesus must have two bodies, one which he took from his 
mother, and another which he takes from the bread. 

718. If the consecrated bread and ^vine should happen 
to be put by and preserved for future use, in the course of 
time the wine will turn sour and the bread mouldy; — but 
it could not be imagined by any one, without incurring the 
charge of blasphemy, that such would be the casa, if these 
substances had been changed into the body and blood of 
Christ. 

719. B- This sacramental union takes place between no- 
thing else than the bread and the body of Christ, and between 
the wine and the Mood of Chmt, We have therefore to reject 
the (jpinioD, that in the Lord's Supper we receive, along with 
the body of the Lord Jesus, also his divine nature. For of 
this we read nothing in the words of the institution, md con- 
sequently nd body is entitled to affirm that the divine nature 
is tttiited with the bread, -^ although in spite of this, the 



Chiip. XXV II. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 219 

union between the body of Christ and his Godhead remaiBs 
inviolate. In the same way it is an error to affirm, that with 
the bread we receive, along with the body, also the blood of 
Christ. For although it is by nature impossible to seperate 
the body from the blood, or the reverse, — yet it is different 
in the case of the Sacrament. For Christ has commanded 
us with the bread, to eat his body (and not his blood), and 
with the wine to drink his blood (and not to eat his body). 
It is consequently a contradiction to Christ's institution, if it 
is said , that the blood of Christ is received with the bread 
or his body with the wine; . and thus we know that in the 
Sacrament no union takes place between the bread and the 
blood, and between the wine and the body of Christ, although 
we are not able Jp get a, clearer insight into the nature of 
this mystery. 

720. It now remains for us to mention the last party 
(§. 701) tliat is concerned in the Sacrament, and that is the 
Communicant himself. In the words of the institution he is 
bid „<o take," „to eat" and „to drink.'^ 

In the first place Christ bids the communicant „to 
take" etc. This may be done either with the hands or with 
the mouth. As long as the bread is taken, it is to no pur- 
pose and not profitable to contend for any particular one of 
these two modes of doing the same thing. It is most propable that 
Judas had given the bread into his mouth which the Lord 
had dipped for him. — As to the mode of taking it, every 
believer is to be left to his own option, and the laying down 
of a rule to be avoided, which might tend to superstitions 
practices. 

721. Again the communicant is bade „to eat." Christ in 
instituting the Sacrament commanded his disciples to eat that 
which he gave unto them; which was the bread, and there- 
with according to his own words, his body. In this respect 
again it is not only necessary for us to understand, — but 
also to believe. — It is our duty attentively to consider the 
words of his commands, and to remember that this sacramen- 
tal eating (and drinking) is not merely a spiritual eating, which 
is done by faith. 

722. For although the Lord's Supper is a spiritual feast, 
yet has it not been mstituted for the mere nourislring of our 
bodies for the life on earth, but on the contrary for the pre- 
paring of our bodies and souls for the spiritual life that is to 
come. But essentially different from this is the view, accor- 
ding to which „the spiritually eating the body of Christ," and 
„the spiritually drinking the blood of Christ" are ssrid to de- 
note the being made partakers of his merciful works; and it 



220 Chap. XX Vn. Ofthe sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

is, .accordingly, erroneous in this sense to call the Lord's 
Supper a spiritual meal. Such a spiritual meal of the latter 
description is spoken of by the Lord Jesus, John. 6, 35 : „I 
am the bread of life : he that cometh to me shall never hun- 
ger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst." — That 
such a spiritually „eating" has not been intended in the Lord's 
Supper, IS evident from the following reasons. 

723. A sacramental eating cannot be performed without 
the Sacrament; whilst a spiritual eating may take place 
without any sacrament, inasmuch as Christ's benefits may 
be laid hold of also by faith. — The sacramental eating 
is peculiar to the New Testament dispensation; whilst the 
spiritual eating we know to have been done by all believers 
since the creation of the world. — In the sacramental eating 
the believer does not only not receive the bread without the 
body of Christ, nor the Dody wihout the bread, but he re- 
ceives the bread together with the body of Christ; whilst, 
when spiritually eating the Sacrament he would receive mere- 
ly the body of Christ, — but not the bread. — The sacra- 
mental eating is performed by the good as well as by the 
evil; the spiritual eating only by the believers. — The sacra- 
mental eating is done by some unto Kfe and salvation, and by 
others^ unto condemnation ; the spiritual eating always unto 
salvation and never unto condemnation. — The sacramental 
eating is made to differ from the sacramental drinking; this 
difference is abolished in the spiritual reception, sincCj to eat 
Christ's body would be made, according to this opinion, to 
denote : „to beheve," as also the drinking of Christ's blood : „to 
believe," — The sacramental eating we find commanded with 
the term „eat," in addition to which the spiritual eating is 
spoken of „this do in remembrance of me;" consequently the 
sacramental eating is essentially necessary for the Lord's Sup- 
per, but the spiritual eating for the effectual and blessed use 
of the same. 

724. By the sacramental eating of the consecrated bread, 
the believer receives the body ot Christ. This remains to be 
explained. 

a. It is to be remembered that human reason never can 
arrive at a clear perception of the nature of this change, but that 
man ought to give glory unto Christ Jesus, believing that he 
is „able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or 
think." Ephes. 3, 20. 

725. jS. This eating is done by the bodily mouth. For: 

1. Either we are commanded an eating with the bodily 
mouth, which, of course, is done by the mouth, or a spiritual, 
one which is done by faith. That the latter is not the case has 



Chap. XXVn. Ofthe sacrament ofthe Lord's Supper. 221 

been proved just nowj and it foUowe, that an eating with the 
mouth has been intended. 

2. We are bid to eat bread, which can be done only with 
the bodily mouth; and consequently an eating with the bodily 
mouth must have been intended. 

3. The eating ordained in the Sacrament has been obeyed 
b^ the Apostles, in that they ate with their bodily mouths. 
There is not in scripture the least indication of their having 
added to the eating of the mouth also a spiritual eating, such as 
is effected by faith. 

4. St. Paul, in the passages already adduced, says, that 
the consecrated bread is the communion , of the body of Christ. 
But if, in the Sacrament, we really did only eat the bread 
with our bodily nj,ouths , and also not the body of Christ, 
there could be said to exist no such communion between the 
bread and the body of Christ. For such a communion it is 
indispensably necessary, that, in the Sacrament, the bread along 
with the body of Christ should be eaten by us with our mouthfe. 
Besides the minister gives, and the communicant receives the 
sacrament entire and undivided, and accordingly with the bread 
also the body of Christ; and not is the bread given with the 
body of Christ, to the faith of the receiver. 

726. y. Nevertheless we are not to conclude that, as Christ's 
body is eaten by our bodily mouth, this is effected in the same 
way as other food is eaten. For such a mode of reasoning is 
not applicable to the mysteries of God. — At the time the 
Holy Ghost descended upon Christ in the likeness of a dove 
Matth. 3, 16. it was a natural dove that was seen descending; 
of the Holy Ghost this cannot be said, since he fiUeth all in 
all, and he can therefore not be considered moving Jrom one 
place to the other. — The Holy Ghost, on the occasion of 
his having descended upon the Apostles, is said, Acts. 2, 3, 
to have sat upon each of them, while yet the Holy Ghost 
cannot be said to sitting or standing. — After the virgin Mary 
had conceived the Son of God, Luk. 1, 35. 42, the divine 
nature could not be said in a natural way to be enclosed wit- 
hin her womb. — At the time God was moving before his 
Seople in a pillar of cloud, this pillar of cloud, as they procee- 
ed, was seen moving from place to place, yet this moving 
cannot be reasonably ascribed to God, Exod. 13, 21. 

Exactly so we ought to consider the Lord's Supper; and 
if we are told that the body of Christ is eaten by us with 
our bodily mouth, we ought not to conclude that we eat the 
same, in the way we do other food. And like as we believe the 
Holy Ghost to have descended, although to him there exists 
no space, so also ought we to believe tnat in the Lord's Sup- 



222 Ghap. XXVII. Ofthe sacrament of the Lord's Supper.- 

per the body of the Lord Jesus Js eaten by us, with our bod- 
ily mouth, though we are unable to comprehend how this is 
effected ; being convinced that, at all events it is not done in 
the way we eat other food. 

727. Again the communicant in taking the Lord's Supper, 
is bid „to drink." With reference to this we have to inquire. 

a. What is intended by the term „to drink ?" Thereby the 
act of drinking with the bodily mouth has been intended, as 
has been proved to be the case with the eating of the body 
of Christ. 

|S, What is to be drunk? — Wine and with the same the 
blood of Christ. 

;'. Who is commanded to drink? Concerning this question 
there ought never to have existed any doubt among Christi- 
ans. — Nevertheless there have been raised controvorsies with 
reference to the same, and it has been asked : Whether the 
priest alone, or also the rest of the laity are entitled to receive 
the eup ? We now proxieed to answer this question, and say : 
that there is no reason whatsoever for the cup being withheld 
from the laity; which assertion we prove as follows : 

728. L Christ, in instituting the sacrament has expressly 
commanded that „all" should drink of it, Matth. 26, 27. And 
that such has been done by the disciples can be proved from Mark. 
14, 23, where we are expressly told that „they all drank of 
it." And if it is objected that the disciples, to whom Christ's 
words had been addressed, had been all priests, we maintain 
that Christ gave them this command not only for their own 
persons, but in their persons also to all Christendom. For 
in the same way as he previously said to the Apostles „eat" 
etc. [which is not denied to be binding also for every Chri- 
stian], so now he adds „drink ye all of it,"- thereby also in- 
cluding every believer. 

729. 2. In the primitive church aU christians have recei- 
ved the wine, this is testified by St. Paul himself, 1 Cor. 10, 
21 : y,ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of de- 
vil"'- ibid. Chap. 11, 26 : „as often as ye drink this cup," etc. 
V. 27: „Whosoever . . . shall drink this cwp unworthily shall 

, be guilty of the body and blood of Christ.'^ In short the Apostle 
knows no difference, every one whom he bids to eat, he bids 
also to drink ; let it be remembered, this JEpistle is not written 
to the priests only but to the saints, or the congregation of 
the Lord, 1 Cor. 1, 2. From this we learn that Paul admo- 
nishes the whole congregation not to receive the blood of 
Christ unworthily. And whatever the members of the church 
of Corinth had a right to, cannot be denied to the rest of 
the Christians. 



Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 223 

730. 3, There cannot he produeed any reason whcOsoeofr 
for denying the wine to the laity, and why in denying the same 
to them the Lord's Testament and will should be infringed 
and made void. And consequently we persevere in our con- 
viction that in the Lord's Supper the laity are entided. to re- 
ceive the wine as well as the bread; and that such as do not 
receive the wine in Sacrament, must be considered as not 
having received the sacrament in accordance to the will of 
Christ. 

Up to this, we have been considering the nature of the 
Lord's Supper, and the outward ceremonial prescribed for the 
dispensing of the same. • 

731. But the Sacrament is made void of the afbrmentio- 
ned characteristics when it is afErmed by the Romish Church, 
that the conseoraied bread might and ought to be locked away, 
preserved, carried about and adored. This doctrine has its 
origin in the erroneous doctrine we have already disproved, 
viz: that the bread be essentially changed into the body of 
Christ. But for the particulars: 

A. The inclosing and preserving of the consecrated bread. 
In the Eomish church it is costumary for the Priest, to con- 
secrate the bread and after having done so to perserve it, 
that, in the case of a sick man desiring to have the Sacra- 
ment administered," they might have the consecrated bread in 
readiness. But this is contrary to 

a. The institution of the Lord Jesus. For in the same, 
Christ is putting together the breaking, taking and eating of 
the bread, in such a way, that there cannot be a sacrament, 
Tjvhen^ver any of these actions are performed separatly. , Thus, 
in the case of the Passover, the killing, roasting and eating 
the same always yfejit together ; this Sacrament was not to 
be considered as perfect whenever one of these acts had been 
omitted. Every one, therefore, who desires to celebrate the 
Lord's Supper, has not only to bless the bread, but also to 
eat of it, and give also others to eat of it. Such cannot be 
done, if after having been consecrated, the bread was preser- 
ved for future occasions. 

733. B. It is also contrmy to the unanimous custom, of the 
primitive Church. For we do not find it anywhere stated* 
that the Lord Jesus, . having consecrated the bread, preserved 
it for a future use, without giving his disciples to eat of it, 
or that the Apostle Paul commanded some of the consecrated 
bread to be preserved. On the contrary we read of all them 
having eaten of the bread and drunk of the cup, 1. Cor. 11, 26. 
Nor did this scriptual view of the matter ever lose its autho^ 



224 Chap. XXVI. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

rity, until a new custom had been introduced by unautho- 
rized men. 

734. y. This looking away of the bread contradicts the very 
nature of a Sacrament. For a Sacrament is an action whereby 
the visible sign is applied unto the receiver. Thus in circum- 
cision there is the taking aw^y of the foreskin; in the Sacra- 
ment of the Passover the eating of the same, in baptism the 
sprinkling with water, — and in the Lord's Supper the eating 
and drinking. Accordingly as without the taking away of the 
foreskin there can be no circumcision, without the eating no 
Passover, and without sprinkling, no baptism, — so without 
eating and drinking there can be no Lord's Supper. And 
eating and drinking cannot take place as soon as the conse- 
crated bread is preserved for future use. 

735. B. The carrying about of the consecrated bread. This 
custom exists also in the Romish Church, ,and takes place 
when in the consecrated bread is carried with great procession 
from the church to the house of the sick or dying, — or when, 
on the festival of the holy Body (which is the Thursday after 
the feast of the Holy Trinity), the bread is carried . round the 
fields in order to improve their fertility. This latter proceeding 
is in every respect an useless one. For it has not been insti- 
tuted by Christ, but has been entirely unknown to the primi- 
tive Church until 1264, in which year it was instituted by the 
Pope Urban IV. Besides, by this act the Sacrament is ap- 
plied for an external purpose, whilst it has yet only been in- 
stituted for spiritual purposes. 

736. C- The adoration of the consecrated bread. In the 
case of the consecrated bread being carried about, every one 
who meets the same (as also during the performance of mass) 
is bound [by the laws of the Romish Church] to kneel down 
and to worship the consecrated bread. Concerning this there 
is to observe : 

a. It is true, that every one, who desires to receive the 
Sacrament worthily, ought to approach the same with a de- 
vout and humble. mind. 

/3. Christ is everywhere, consequently also in the Sacra- 
ment, to be worshipped as God and man. For of such a ser- 
vice nothing in the world is exempted 1 Timot. 2, 8 : „/ will 
therefore that men yray everywhere.'-' — Nevertheless 

y. is that worship not to be offered directly to the bread. 
For we remember that God was not even pleased to be ado- 
red under the image of the golden calf, Exod. 32, 5. 7. al- 
though he yet desired to be worshipped on that same spot. In 
the same way Christ also desires to be worshipped wherever 
there is the Sacrament; but that we should worship him in 



Chap. XXVII. Ofthe sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 225 

the bread, this we are neither commanded, nor have we any prece- 
dent whatsoever whereby to be guided. The worshipping of 
the bread, therefore, is to be looked upon as an institution of 
man, and a worship that is done in vain, Matth. 15, 9. 

8. It is therefore erroneous, for any one to address him- 
self with his prayer to_ any thing that constitutes part of the 
Sacrament. For as it has been proved in the preceding 
that_ the_ bread is not substantially changed into the body of 
Christ, it follows, that evety one who worships th^ bread is 
thereby committing an act of idolatry. 

737. I>. (cf. §. 662) The effects and consequences of the 
Lord's Supper. They are twofold. Some refer to the Lord 
Jesus; for we are desired to render ourselves obedient to his 
will,- to shew forth* his death; and to be gratefud for the un- 
speakable benefits he has conferred upon us. 

738. Others again have more special reference to. man. 
For by the Saoramentn man has 

a. strengthened his faith. For the Christian's faith is to 
consist in the sure confidence, that Christ is his Saviour, that 
he has died and shed his blood for him. Now in the Sacra- 
ment Christ testifies to the believer that his body has been, 
given and his blood shed for him, that they might also 
be to him a . pledge of the benefits he is entitled to enjoy. 
Which proves that by the Lord's Supper, Christ is strengthe- 
ning the faith of the communicant. If this comes to pass, 
then 

j3. Christ also applies unto him the promises of the Gos- 
el. Such as, that he does not desire the death of a sinner, 
lut rather that he be converted; that none should perish, but 
that all should come to salvation etc. For we may be sure 
that for whom Christ has given himseF, him God also desi- 
res to be saved. And as Christ testifies in the Sacrament, 
that he has given himself for every communicant and shed 
his blood for all, he thereby testifies to every one individually 
that God desires him to be saved. 

y. The Sacrament is to the communicards a pledge of their 
Salvation. God desires them to be saved because Christ has 
died for them; this is preached to them in the word, and tes- 
tified in the Sacrament. And thereby God promises, as it 
were, on his part to leave nothing undone that might tend to 
promote their salvation ; and if men are doing their part to 
this end,, they may rest assured that, as sure as God is true 
and cannot lie, and as Christ is the truth himself — they 
shall have eternal salvation. 

S. It may not be unprofitable, in this place to mention 

15 



I 



226 Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament ofthe Lord's Supper. 

the divers practical effects of the Lord's Supper, as pointed 
out by the Fathers of the Church. 

1. In publicly partaking of the Lord's Supper, we confess 
ourselves to be of the same faith with that congregation, in the 
midst of which we partake the same ; 

2. we are engrafted into the spiritual olive tree, which 
is the Lord Jesus. 

3. By means of that act, Christ's promise is fulfilled: „If 
a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will 
love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with 
Mm," John. 14, 23. And 

4. We thereby receive an assurance of our resurrection 
from the dead. For Christ, in giving us his body to eat, 
gives us the assurance that, although our bodies are frail, yet 
they shall be m'ade like unto his glorious body, Phil. 3, 21. 

739. E. 1 he preparations for worthily receiving of the Lord! s 
Supper. This is a very important point; for not all, who re- 
ceive the Lord's Supper, are to partake of the benefits it is 
calculated to effect, but only those who receive the same wor- 
thily. For we are told 1. Cor. 11, 27 ff.: ^^Whosoever shad 
eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall 
be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. Bui let a 
man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and 
drink of that cup. For he that eateth and d/rinketh unworthily, 
eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the 
Lord's body." 

740. Such a preparation appears, after what we have just 
read, to be indispensably necessary. But this preper.tion is not 
to be brought about by outward observances (which otherwise 
are not to be depreciated); or by abstaining from the taking 
of other food, previous to going to the Sacrament (for the 
Apostles themselves received the same immediately after ha- 
ving eaten the Passover); — it is only brought about by man's 
inwardly examining himself. — This is done: 

a. By the law. Man has to examine himself, whether he 
has been living in sin, and thereby drawn dawn upon him the 
wrath of God; whether there is still alive in him a desire and 
a longing after sin, and whether he is determined, -from this 
time forward to persevere in his carceer of sin, or whether 
he is actualy feelmg remorse and repentance on account of 
this sin. This being done, the one will find himself to be 
little heeding his sinful state , rather inclined in favour of the 
same ; and accordingly that he has not yet a right perception of 
the fierceness of God's judgement , or of His hatred against 



Chap. XXVII. Oi the sacramom of the Lord's Supper. 227 

sin, nor that he had ever troubled himself much concer- 
ning the wrath of God, nay, that he perhaps does not even 
believe in the existence of God. Such a person, how could 
be worthily approach the Lord's Table? — Another again, 
feels an awful fear of appearing before God, whose wrath 
and judgement he fears on account of his manyfold sins, which 
latter he yet earnestly repents , not only because of the pu- 
nishments which they draw down upon him, but because he 
had not exerted himself to prevent his offending so kind and mer- 
ciful a Father. Henceforth he determines to take heed to sin 
no more. Such an one has properly examined himself by the 
law, and is, in this respect, not to be excluded as an un- 
worthy guest from the Lord's table. 

741. ^. Man again is to examine himself by the Gospel. 
He is to examine himself, whether he knows and believes, that 
it is God's will, that all men, who have sinned should not 
perish but that all should come to everlasting life; that, for 
the accomplishment of this design, he has sent His Son, who 
has by his death propitiated for their sins, and satisfied the 
demands, divine justice had upon them ; — whether he belie- 
ves that this merciful purpose of God, and this merit of Christ 
has special reference individually to himself, that God has lo- 
vod him, and that Christ has shed his blood for him ; — whe- 
ther there is no doubt in his mind, that through Christ all his 
sins have been forgiven unto him, and whether he is convin- 
ced, that as a pledge of this forgiveness, Christ is giving him, 
in the Lord's Supper, to eat and to drink, his body and his 
blood, by the bread and wine. If he is unable satisfactorily 
to answer any one of these questions , he may be sure to be 
unworthy of approaching the Lord's table. But if on the other 
hand he feels himself firmly convinced of these facts, (al- 
though in the weakness of the flesh he may now and then be 
tempted to question the one or the other), he may rest assu- 
red, that he is about to apprpch the Lord's table worthily, 
and to receive the Lord's Supper unto eternal life. 

742. F. Other circumstances that accompany the dispensing 
of the Lord's Supper. As most of them have been treated of 
already, there remain only three to be mentioned, viz: 

a. <^e tim£ in which it ought to" be celebrated. The Lord 
Jesus instituted the same on an evening, from whence the 
meal is called the Lord's Supper. If we look nearer into 
these and other circumstances, we find: 

1. That this has been left to the option of every Indivi- 
dual. No body is bound to take the Supper upon a certain 
day of the year, or upon a certain Sunday or Holiday , or in 

15* 



228 Chap. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

the morning or afternoon of the da-y etc.; this liberty ought 
not to be limited. 

2. Nor has the primitive Church ever considered itself 
bound, in this respect, to any particular time. The Apostles 
continued , we are told , „daily with one accord in the temple, 
and breaking bread from house to Jiouse," Acts. 2, 46. At 
Troada they' had the custom of celebrating the snme on the 
Sabbath days, Acts. 20, 7. 

743. Concerning the place, where it ought to be celebrat- 
ed. In this respect we have to answer two questiones, viz: 

8. Whether the celebration of this act is to be performed only 
in places of public worship , or whether it may also be done m 
private houses in case of people being sick. Every thing that 
constitutes part of the worship of God, ought by right to be 
done in the public assemblies; yet if there be a special occa- 
sion and consideration it may also be done in private houses. 
Thus Christ celebrated the first Lord's Supper in the upper 
room of an inn, — nor have there been given any peculiar di- 
rections concerning this. The Apostles and other Christians, 
we read, were „breaking bread from house to house," Acts. 
2, 46 ; and as we have the express promise, that where two 
or three are gathered together in Christ's name, therfe he will 
be in the midst of them, Matth. 18, 20. thereby as it were, 
forming the family of the house into a Christian communion, 
there is no reason why in the case of any one being preven- 
ted by sickness from joining the congregation, the Lord s Sup- 
per should not be administered unto him in his private dwel- 
ling. 

744. Whether the Lord's Supper is to be administered 
on tables or upon an altar. An altar, according to the levi- 
tical law, is a place upon which the sacrifices are deposited 
and, as it were, given unto God. In the Romish Church that 
part of the edifice is called the altar, on and by which they 
celebrate the so called sacrifice of the mass. We [the luthe- 
ransj have in this sense of the word neither a levitical nor a 
romish altar. And as these tables within our churches have 
retained, from the times of Popery, the designation of „altar," 
and as it is of no importance to us, whether it be called a 
table or an altar or any thing, else, -- we do not hesitate to 
say : that the Lord's Supper is to be celebrated on the altar. 

745. y. The repetition of this Sacrament. The reason why 
baptism is not to be repeated has been stated already. This 
is different with the sacrament before us, which must neces- 
sarly be repeated frequently. The reasons for which are: 

1. the- Apostel Paul quotes the words of the Lord as 



Chnp. XXVII. Of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 229 

follows : „Thi8 do ye as often as ye drink it in remembrance 
of me;" V. 26: „a« often as ye eat that bread" etc. 

2. We read of its having been frequently celebrated by 
the members of the primitive Church, and that they went brea- 
king bread from house to house, Acts. 2, 46. And 

3. We know that the Passover had to be eaten every 
year, — a Sacrament which has been a type of this very 
Lord's Supper. — 

As to the question how often a Christian is to go to the 
Lord's table, this must be entirely left to his own option and 
to the state of his own mind and godliness. Nevertheless it 
would be profitable for the Christian frequently to examine 
himself, that thereby he might grow in godliness and have his 
faith strenghened. 



>>«<i»*i^®sta&t»5«t 



230 



Chapter XXVlll. 

The holy ministry is an {(ffice, instituted by God, in which' He l:as s, i 
aside from the rest of men certain persons, whose duty it is, by His autho- 
rity to preach His word, to spend the Sacraments, to lead thoSe who are 
committed to (hem unto Christ, and to build them up unto eternal lite. 



746. Although God might have been able to teach, direct 
and govern men without any means whatsoever, yet has it 
pleased him, to employ certam men for the purpose of carry- 
ing out his designs. This arrangement which has been made 
for the furtherance of our Salvation, we have now to consi- 
der more fully. There are especially six points which require 
our attention : which are ; 

747. A.- The names that have been applied to these men; 
the most frequent amongst them are: 

a. Ministers (Servants) 1 Oor. 3, 5: „Who then is Paul, 
and who is ApoUo, but ministers (that is ministers of God and 
Christ) by whom ye believed;" Kom, 1, 1: „Paul a servant 
of Jesus Christ;" Galat. 1, 10: „If I yet pleased men, I 
should not be the servant of God;" 1 Cor. 4, 1: „Let a man 
so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ;" 2 Cor. 6, 4: 
„in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God." 
^Ministers of the church,"- Coloss. 1, 24. 25 ; „the Chvu-ch whe- 
reof I am made a minister." — „Minister of the Gospel," 
Ephes. 3, 7 : „The Gospel Avhereof I was made a minister." 

748. jS. Elders; so called because, in the newly planted 
churches, the Apostles appointed those to be servants of the word, 
who had either from their age a certain influence over the peo- 
ple, or, what is more probable, who had been longest mem- 
bers of the Church and consequently had more Christian ex- 
perience than the rest; 1 Timot. 5, 17: „Let the elders that 
rule well" etc; Titus 1, 5: „For this cause left I thee in Crete, 
that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting 
and ordain elders in every city." — St. Paul accordingly ex- 
presses it as his wish, that a bishop should not be a novice, 
1 Tim. 3, 6: giving it as his reason „lest being lifted up with 
pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil."- 

749. y. Bishops; which words in the greek language, from 
which it is derived, signifies : an overseer. Although in the Eo- 
mish Church this title signifies a very high station in the 
Church, yet in the scriptural sense, it is intended to denote 



Chap. XXVIII. Of the office of th6 mmistry. 231 

nothing more then a teacher or minister of the christian Church ; 
Acts. 20, 28: „Take heed therefore . . . unto the flock, over 
which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers"- (Bishops); 
Phil. 1, 1: „A11 the saints which are at Phihppi, with the 
Bishops and Dedkons."- 

750. S. Other names have been taken from domestic re- 
lations, such as: ^stewards of the mysteries of God," 1 Cor. 
4, 1 ; ^labourers together* with God," 1 Cor. 3, 6. 9 ; labourers 
in Gods vineyard,"' Matth. 20, 1; Jahourers in God's harvest," 
Matth. 9, 38; „Pray ye therefore the L'ord of the harvest, that 
he will send forth labourers into hjs harvest;" ^Ashers,"- Matth. 
4, 19: ^Follow me, and I will make you fishers 6f men;" 
shepherds, 1 Peter 5, 2 : „Feed the flock which is among you :" 
ambassadors,^ 2 Cor. 5, 20: „"We are ambassadors for Christ." 

761. B. The nature of^ this office. This office has been 
instituted in prder that by it men might be made fit for eter- 
nal salvation. This is done 
I. by teaching, 

n. by the dispensing of the sacraments, and 
III. by church discipline. 

1. The teaching refers to two things ; first to the preaching 
of the saving faith (for' through faith we are saved, Ephes. 2, 
8), and secondly, to a godly and unspotted walk and conver- 
sation, lest by an ungodly life on the part of God's minister, 
faith and salvation might be lost to him for ever. Whosoe- 
ver desires to plant faith into the hearts of his fellowmen, must 
necessarily do two things; 

1. he must lay before his hearers the word of God in its 
purib/ and uncorrupted. For faith cometh by hearing, and hea- 
ring hj the word of God, Rom. 10, 17. -.This word is two- 
fold, viz: the law and the Gospel, Matth. 13, 52: „Every 
sonhe which is instructed, unto the kingdom of heaven is hke 
unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out 
of his treasure things new and old." But this has been suffi- 
ciently treated of in its proper place. 

This doctrine having been properly preached unto the 
hearers, produces that savmg faith, by which they may be jus- 
tified before God, and made partakers of eternal Salvation. 

752. Whosoever undertakes to implant faith into the heart 
of men must 

2. necessarily maintain a godly walk and conversation. 
For by this he is required to sow among his hearers godli-. 
ness and good works, which latter again are the effects of 
the Word, which is said to be profitable for doctrine, for re- 
proof, for correcfion, for instruction unto righteousness," 2 Tim. 
3, 16; but the walk and conversation also of the teacher are 



232 Chap. XXVm. Of the office of the ministry. 

required to tend to the same end, 1 Tim. 4, 12 : „6e ilwu an 
example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in 
spirit, in faith, in purity."-' 

753. But as the devil, is always anxious to tear the 
word of God irom our heart, Luk. 8, 12, and to sow the weeds 
of false teaching among the wheat that has been sown, Matth. 
13, 38. 39, it becomes necessary for the minister of the word, 
occasionally to pronounce words of censurS, exhorting errone- 
ous teachers, and other hardened sinners to turn from their 
evil ways. But this assertion gives rise to two questions, which 
it our duty to consider. 

a. Is it the duty of the minister of the Gospel merely to 
preach the doctrine of Salvation unto his hearers, or is he also 
bound occasionally to refer to erroneous doctrines which are main- 
tained, for the purpose of refuting them?"- If the ChurcH of 
Christ were always in such a position as would make im- 
possible for its members "to be misled, it would not appear 
necessary to refiite'any existing errors, of which there was nothing 
to lear. But there are never wanting herisies among us, 1 
Cor. 11, 19, and everj' minister is standing in continual dread 
lest any of his flock be led away from the saving faith. Ac- 
cordingly, he is by no means at liberty to be silent on that 
subject, but on the contrary, bound earnestly, to resist the evil, 
with all his powers. This we prove as follows : 

754. In the first place : A minister is desired not only 
to exhort by the teaching of the word, but als to convince 
gainsayers; „There are many unruly and vain talkers and de- 
ceivers, whose mouth must be stopped," Tit. 1, 10. fF. , „instruct 
those who oppose themselves; ifGrod perad venture will give them 
repentance," 2 Tim. 2, 24. 

755. In the second place: Christ also as well as his 
Apostles have frequently and earnestly warned their hearers 
from erroneous teaching, and from those who might mislead 
them. Of Christ we know how frequently he has dissuaded 
men from listening to the Pharisees and Scribes, Matth. 16, 
6. ff. ; 23, 13. fF. ; and how frequently he controverted their 
views. The same did Paul, in bis Epistle to the Galatians, 
Chap. 3, 1. ff.; 5, 1. flp.; Acts. 15j 2. ff.; as also in that to 
the church at Corinth, 2 Cor. 11, 13. fF. ; and the same has 
been done by pious and godly ministers in all ages of the 
church. 

756. And thirdly: Those shepherds that see the wolf co- 
ming and yet do not resist, are said to be not the right shep- 
herds, but hirelings, John. 10, 12. It is not sufficient for a 
shepherd to lead his flock on good pustures ; he is also required 
to prevent the wolf from doing mischief, and to keep his flock 



Chaj). XXVIII. Of the office of the ministry. 233 

from straying into pastures that are filled with dangerous herbs 
and poisenous waters. If he is not considering this to be 
his duty, then he must be said to be a faithless shepherd. — 
Now erroneous teaching is nothing else than a poison to the 
Soul; and heretics and other seducers are like ferocious wolves; 
and, accordingly, every minister that is not warning his 
fiook for them is to be considered as a unfaithfiil shepherd. 

757. 3. Whether those who maintain such erroneous doc- 
trines ought to be publicly named to the Church , pointed out as 
heretics , seducers, false teachers, and publicly condemned as such. 
We answer in the affirmative; yet it ought to be done, not 
with ostentation, but in humility. But on this we cannot en- 
ter now. — That we have a right to mention such Individjy- 
als, by their very names, before the church, appears evident 
from the following 'reasons : 

758. 1. We do not hesitate to point out' publicly the 
names of those, whose conduct is injurious to Society; such 
as robbers, felons etc.. in order to warn every one of having 
any communication or intimacy with them. — Thus also in 
public schools the pupil is forewarned by the teacher, in the 
houshold, the child by the parent, from connexions that might 
do them hurt, — on which occasions the Individuals warned 
against, must always be mentioned by their real names, with- 
out any one finding fault about it. Why should such not 
be permitted in the Church? 

759. 2. Christ and his Apostles publicly pointed out such 
individuals, naming them by their very names. Thus Christ 
named the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, Matth. 16, 6: 
„Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees aud Saddu- 
cees ;" Chapt. 23, 13 : „Wo unto you Scribes, Pharisees, hypo- 
scrites." — The apostle mentioned by name, as being dange- 
rous: Hymeneus, Philetus, Alexa,nder, 1 Tim. 1, 20: the Ni- 
colaitans. Rev. 2. 16; Jezebel, ibid. v. 20. 

760. 3. Christ and his AjDOStles were in the habit ofpuJD- 
licly pointing out and condemning heretics. Thus we find Christ 
designating the Pharisees as „hypocrites," Matth. 23, 13; as 
„children of hell," v. 15: as „blind leaders of the blind," 

Matth. 15, 14 St. Paul again designates Elimas as „a child' 

of the devil," Acts. 13. 10; — others as „false apostles, de- 
ceitful workers," 2 Cor. 11, 13; — as ministers of Satan," v. 
15. — as „dogs," Phil. 3, 2. — That same Apostle also de- 
livered Hymeneus and Alexander unto Satan, 1 Tim. 1,; 20; 
and, accordingly, if such is also done in our days to heretics 
etc. (though with, humility and great .discretion) they ought 
not to consider themselves in any way hardly dealt with 

761. y. Are such as are known to live in a state of gross 



234 Chap. XXVin. Of the office of the ministry. 

sin, thereby giving public offence, to be public^ punished 
OTid otherwise pointed out to the congre^cudonl PubEc vices 
ought also to Be punished publidy, 1 Tim. 5, 20: Them that 
dn rebuce before all, that others also may fear.'-' If such an in- 
dividual happens to be publicly known, there is, of course no 
necessity for mentioning his name; if this is not the case, 
than he ought to be named, lest by being passed over in si- 
lence, the evil might become greater. But a rebuke of this 
nature ought to be brought forward with „all authority," Tit. 
2, 5. that others also might fear. — Thus much with refe- 
rence to the teaching of the , word. 

762. n. Another part pf the duties of the minister con- 
sits in the dispensing of the Sacraments. They are to be trea- 
ted by him as divine myteries, whiph have been institued for 
the glory of God and the wellbeing of mankind. He is there- 
fore bound to dispense the same to all such as stand in need 
of them, and of whom he knows that they are desirous for 
eternal salvation , and determined to win the same. But in 
the case of his being convinced that the taking of the Sacra- 
ment, by any individual, would not tend to the honour of God, 
and to his, the individuals, own destruction, — he is entitled to 
deny the dispensing of the same, that be might not „give that 
which is holy unto the dogs," nor „cast the pearls before 
swine," Matth. 7, 6. 

763. ni. Church discipline. Concerning this, we have to 
consider two parties; first that referring to the teachers. It is 
natural that among them, as a body, certain rules and regu- 
lations must be maintained, (but of this subsequently); — and 
secondly that of the hearers. These are to be ruled not with 
wrath and authority, as is done with the disobedient, Luk. 9, 
55, 56, — but with spiritual authority. This power the mi- 
nister derives partly from the word of God, Heb. 4, 12. — 
which power we have already had occasion to speak of, — 
and partly also: 

764. From the exercise of the power of the keys, as the mi- 
nistry of the word is called by the Lord Jesus Christ, Matth. 
16, 29: „I will. give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: 
and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in hea- 
ven;] and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed 
in heaven;" Matth. 18, 18: „ Whatsoever ye- shalt bind on earth 
shall be boimd in heaven'''- etc.; John. 20, 22. 23. „And when 
he (Jesus) had said this, he breathed on them and saitJi unto 
them „„Meceive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, 
they are remitted unto, them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, 
they are retained.^'^ — Concerning this we have to consider: 

765. The ■naJbure of this power. This power is not to be 



Chap. XXVm. Gf the office of the mimstry. 235 



/ 



exercised over the body, but over the soul; it has not been 
instituted for the purpose of governing the body, but that 
thereby the souls of men might be guided and directed. 

Juow this power is to be eaiermsed? we answer: Not by 
means of wordhf compulsion, such as fire, pain etc., but sdely 
by means of the Word of God; it manifests itself in offering 
a friendly reception to the obedient and a serious exclusion 
to such among the congregation, who have no desire to be 
guided by the word of God. Just as a shepherd leads his 
flock; the obedient among them he is kind to; the disobe- 
dient_ he tries by gentle means to induce to a better course, 
and if he fimds that they are not willing to improve, he re- 
moves them from his flock, yet without employing more dan- 
gerous and hurtful means. And St. Peter admonishes minis- 
ters to feed the ^ock of Christ, not as though they were 
lords over God's heritage," 1. Epist. 5, 3. 

Nor is the power of the keys to be exercised for the gra- 
tification of the minister's own mclinations and desires, as if 
it stood in his option, to forgive his sins to the one, and to 
the other not. He is bound to do every thing to the glory 
of God, and for the wellbeing of the souls of his flock, — in 
short, to do eveyy thing, which scriptures recommends to this . 
end, and to shun ev^ry thing that might create any obstacle 
to the desired effect. 

Nor is it to be done by interest or afection, such as love, 
hatred) influence, presents etc., all which are at variance with 
the principles of divine justice, and as even earthly judges are 
forbidden to be influenced by them, how much less ought 
this to happen in the case before us? 

766. C. (cf. §. 747) The effects of this mimstry. They 
consists not only in preaching and proclaiming of the divine 
word and judgement, but also in the exercise of a power, 
something- simuar to that which worldly Govemements com- 
mitt to the subaltern oflScers and magistrates, and whereby 
the latter are in duty bound to protect the peaceful subjects, 
and to punish the evildoers. ^And like as these authorities 
not only proclaim the will of their superiors, but »lso, in dif- 
ferent ways, do really make use of the power deputed to 
them, — exactly so has God, which, in our case is the high- 
est authority, deputed to the ministers of Church a like spi- 
ritual power. 

767. With reference to ihe forgioing of sins, we have more 
especially to consider: 

ti. toat a penitent sinner has his sins forgiven him, as 
soon as he returns unto God, being freed from the effects 
they would have otherwise had upon him. As for instance in 



236 Chap. XXVIII. Of the office of the ministry. 

the case of the (penitent) Pubh'can, Luk. 18,13, who, as soon 
as he repented in his heart , and had taken refuge in the 
grace of God, had his sins forgiven him without any_ delay, 
at the same moment. — Acts. 13, 39: „S?/ him (Christ) all 
that believe are justified (from sins);" Eom. 4, 5: „He that 
believed on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is coun- 
ted for righteousness." 

768. /3. Forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to all 
sinners by the preaching of the Gospel. For the aposdeship 
has been instituted to be a „minist/ry of reconciliation,"- 2. Cor. 
5, 18. The Apostles were commanded to preach repentance 
and remission of sins, Luk. 24, 47. 

769. /. There are also in the Church properly instituted 
aiithorieties, who are entitled to declare unto man (after he 
has repented his sins) the for^veness of his sins, — in the 
same way as, in the case of an individual having been found 
innocent before a court of justice, he is liberated from his prison 
by the power which these judges are possessed of. — Thus 
the Publican was justified before God, at the moment that he di- 
rected his humble prayer unto God, although he had, as is 
proved by his hastening to the temple, previously repented 
and found forgiveness of siiis. Christ also absolved the woman 
who had been a sinner, and repenting of her sins, had taken 
refuge in him, the real mercyseat ; although she had previous- 
ly already repented of her sins, and found grace before God. 

770. 5. But we ought to be careful not to pronounce for- 

fiveness of sins to those who are unworthy. As such are to 
e considered: 

t<. Those who have not yet come to a knowledge of their 
sins. Thus the Prophet Nathan did not promise unto David 
forgiveness of sins, until the latter had declared with a repen- 
ting heart: „I have sinned against the Lord," 2. Sam. 12, 13; 
3. those, who do not abstain from the sins they committ 
against their better knowledge. For we are told that he only 
is to find mercy „whoso cofesseth and forsaketh" his sins, 
Prov. 28, 13; and 

J. those who, although they wish to abstain from their 
sins, yet have not strength to beheve that God is willing 
to forgive them their sins, for the sake and the merits of 
Christ; „Woe to the fearful hearts, and faint hands; woe unto 
him that is faint hearted! for he believeth not; therefore shall 
he not be offended," Eccl. (Siraeh) 2, 14. 15. 

771. Now it is given unto no man to discern the hearts 
and the minds of others, and accordingly the minister is bound 
to judge with that christian charity, which „believeth all things 
and hopeth all things;" and he has therefore to pronounce 



Chap. XXVm. Of the office of the ministry. 237 

forgiveness to every one, who properly confesses his sins to 
him. But he is to do this not without having seriously ad- 
monished him, and with the express condition that if, what 
he confesses be. true, he ought now by sincere repentance to 
seek receptance by God. To which it would be well to add, 
that God, who knows the heart of man, is sure to punish 
the hypocrite , and that every thing that is loose in heaven, 
has been loosed by the office of the ministry. 

772. With regard to excommunication we have to ob- 
serve : 

The nature of the same. It is the means, whereby im- 
penitent sinners are separated from the christian congregation, 
that thereby such a sinner might be induced to repent and 
to seek again accjpptance by God. This act is called by 
P:iul „a delivering unto Satnn," 1. Cor. 5, 5; 1. Tim. 1, 20. 

773. How it is to be used'? It is not to be used as a 
means against every sinner, but merely against those who, 
after having been frequently admonished to depart from sin, 
persevere in designedly committing sin. Concerning such, the 
Lord Jesus himself has given us instructions, Matth. 18, 
15ff.: „-Zf thy brother shall trespass against thee., go and tell 
him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, 
thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, 
then take with thee one or two more., that in the mouth of two 
or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he 
shalL neglect to hear them, tell it unto the Church: but if he ne- 
gl^to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a Heathen and 
a wublican." Accordingly this excommunication ought not to. 
be pronounced over any sinner, unless his sinful ways have 
before been in private and in public, pointed out to him,_ and 
he be warned against. Is he, in spite of this admonition, 
not inclined to repent and mend his ways , then God's wrath 
ought to be made known to him, nor should he be promised 
forgiveness of his sins, but be looked upon as a heathen and 
Publican. Of course, such individuals ought also to be shun- 
ned by all godly people, who ought to have no intercourse 
whatsoever with them. • 

774. The end and aim of this excommunication. The 
most important amongst them is, that the stiffnecked might 
be indined to come to a knowledge of his evil ways, and re- 
pent his sins. Such was the end Paul had in view when he 
cKCommunicated the Corinthian, who had sinned in that he 
married his father's wife, as he writes 1. Cor. 5, 3ff.: „/ 
have judged . . . concerning him thai has so done this deed: 
In the name of. our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered 
together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus 



236 Chap. XXVm. Of the office of the ministry. 

Chrkl^ to delwer such a one unto Satan for the destruction of 
the flesh, that the Smrit may be saved in the day of' the Lord 
Jesus Christ.'-'- — The excommunication is also designed by 
openly censuring sin and its consequences, to induce men in 
general to abstain from it,, and to come to sincere repen- 
tance. Thus Hymenaeus and Alexander were delivered by 
the apostle unto Satan, in order „that they might learn not 
to blaspheme," 1. Tim. 1, 20. 

775. D. We have now to consider by whom this office 
is to be administered. 

a. It is to be administered by human beings., not by 
angels, or any other creatures; more especially, it ought to 
be entrusted to males and not to females. Though the latter 
are bound to teach their own children, servants etc. (as Paul 
writes, Titus 2, <8: that „aged women are to be teachers of 
good things"), yet they are not to allowed to serve in the 
public ministry, 1 Cor. 14, 34 : „Let your women keep sUenee in 
Hie Churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; for 
they are commanded to be wader obedience, as also saith the 
law;"^ 1. Tim. 2, 12: „7 suffer not a wom^n to teach." But 
an exception of this rule is permitted in case there is an ab- 
solute want of godly men for the office, and there are some 
pious and able women who are fit to be employed in this 
emergency; as we read of Phebe at Cenchrea, Bom. 16, 1, 
and of Tryphena, Tryphosa rnd Presis (v. 12) having done 
great service to the cause of the Lord. _ 

Again such as wish to serve in the Ministry ougMto 
have the proper age. For as little as to that very laborBus 
office children could be admitted, on account of their weak- 
ness, even so is it impossible to entrust the same to very old 
people, because by their infirmity they would be unable to 
fulfil all he duties of the holy office. Besides this there is no 
age excluded from the office; not high age, Phil. 9; nor youth, 
1. Tim. 4, 12: „let no man despise thy youth;" Jerem. 1, 7: 
„Say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I send 
thee, and whatsoever I command thee, thou shalt speak." — 
Another condition for this office is bodily health. And if some- 
body happens to have a defect in his body, he may exer- 
cise the office as long as he is not prevented , from properly 
doing his duty; but as soon as he fimds it to be an hinder- 
ance he had better not undertake it at all. — We have again 
to remember: 

776. /?. that it is not becoming a minister of the word 
to be occupied , along with it, in any other business. It is 
true that St. Paul, whilst officiating in his apostleship conti- 
nued also his business as tentmaker, Acts. 18, 8. But this is 



Chap. XXVni. Of the office of the miniatry. 239 

different in our days, since the ministers have to ^ve all their 
diligence to the study of the word of God, and the adresses 
they have to mate to their people. As Sirach says, Eccl. 
38, 24: „The wisdom of the learnd men cometh by opportu- 
nity of leisure: and he that hath little business shall, become 
wise." 

777. But more especially it ought to be remembered, that 
the Lord Jesus wills that worldly authorities should not in any 
way mingle into the administration of this office. Luk. 22, 
25. 26: „The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship cmer them; 
and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefac- 
tors. But ye shall not be so : but he that is greatest among you 
let him be as the younger, and he that is ehief, as he that doth 
serve," Thus we l^rn from scripture, that king Usias was 
struck by palsy, because of his naving unlawfully assumed 
the priestly office, along with his kindy office, 2. Chro. 26, 
19. 20. But if somebody is lawfully cdled to the office, and 
he feels himself fit for it, and is determined to give over his 
former occupation, then he may assume the olfice. For we 
know that the Lord Jesus called fishermen, publicans etc., to 
the office, Matth. 4, 19. 21; 9, 9. But still it is not advisable 
to call men of that description to exercise the fimctions of the 
holy office, as long as there are men to be found, who have 
fitted themselves to it from their very youth. 

778. Nor is there any reason for excluding from the of- 
fice such as are living in a married state. For 

1. marriage is a lawful state, which has been instituted 
by God even before the fall of men, Genes. 2, 22 ff.; and 
blessed by Him, Genes. 1, 28, — a state which He, desires 
to be kept and considered honourable, Heb. 13, 4, and which 
he has established by a special law; Genes. 20, 14. There 
is therefore no possible reason for a minister of _God being 
forbid to be married; for God does not forbid his ministers 
to enter marriage, 1. Tim. 3, 2. 4: „A bishop must be the 
husband- of one wife, one that ruleth over his own house, having 
children in subjection in all gravity."-' This injunction we find 
repeated, Titus 1, 6. 

2. The Apostles themselves are known, during their mi- 
nistry, to have lived in a married state, as for instance Peter, 
John and James, 1. Cor. 9, 5. 6: „Have we not power to 
lead about a sister, a wife as well as otber apostles, and as 
the brethren of the Lord, as Cephas ?« — 

'3. Such a curtailing of the marriage state is emressly 
declared in Scripture to be a doctrine of devils, 1. Tim. 4, 
1. 3: „In the latter times some shall depart from the faith 



240 Chap. XXVm. Of the office of the ministry. 

giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of the devils, 
forhidding to marry."' 

4. The circumstance that the Popes have forbidden the 
Clergy of the Church to marry, has been the cause of the 
perpetration of a great many vices and other crimes, — and 
the devil could not possibly have had given' into his hands a 
better means for multiplying vice and other offences among 
man, than just this law. 

779. ;'. The qualifications of such who desire to minister the 
word. They are twofold; in the first place, the" minister must 
possess a certain ahility for the exercise of the same. Before h^ 
undertakes to teach others, he should iSrst instruct himself; 
„learn before thou speak, "Eccl. (Sirach) 18, 19. To which end 
he is „to seek out the wisdom of all the ancient and be oc- 
cupied in prophecies," Eccl. (Sirach) 39, 1. Thereby he will 
enable himself to preach the word in a becoming manner and 
„by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convmce the gain- 
sayers," Tit. 1, 9. and be made, what the Apostle calls „apt 
to teach," 1 Tim, 3, 2 ; 2 Tim, 2, 24. A second qualification 
is a godly walk and conversation ; whereby thie minister is to 
serve as an example of the believers, 1 Tim. 4, 12. — Now 
the persons who are admitted to the ministry are not all of a 
godly walk. Some there are, who although during their mi- 
nistry they lead a godly life, have yet in their youth loved 
the world and its pleasures. But this is no reason for their 
not being admitted into the ministry, after they had been con- 
verted and had repented of their sins. Nevertheless it would 
be more profitable to send such to minister in places 
where their former ways are not known, and thus to avoid 
offence, „lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil," 
1 Tim. 3, 7. — Others again there are, who, even after fheir 
entering their ministry, do continue in their former evil ways; 
such are not only not fit to be examples for the Church, but 
they also by their evil deeds, pull down that again, which they 
might have build up by their teaching. They are therefore 
riot fit for the office of the ministry; inasmuch as, for this, 
they are required to be „sober of good behaviour, not given 
to wine" etc. 1 Tim. 3, 2. 3. 

780. E- Jn which way is the minister to enter upon his office? 
a. Every one who desires to be a minister of God, ought 

not to push himself into this office, but ought to be properk/ 
ordained for this purpose. Thus in the time of Jeremiah the 
prophets were punished because of their having gone and .pro- 
phesied without their having been sent, Jerem. 23, 21. — 
„No man taketh tliis honour unto himself; but he that is call- 



Chap. XXVin. 01 the office of the ministry. 241 

ed of God, as was Aaron," Heb. 5, 4j „How shall they 
preach except they be sent?" Rom. 10, 15. 

781._ B. How are these ministers to be called'? This is done 
either without any outward means, as was the case with the 
Prophets: Isa. 6, 8. 9; Jerem. 1, 15 ff. and as the Lord Je- 
sus called the Apostles, Matth. 4, 19. 21 etc. — Or certain 
person or classes of the church are entitled to this privilege, 
viz, the ministers, the auihorithies and the members of the 
Church. 

782. The ministers are entitled to ordain ministers into 
the Church, for we read, Titus 1, 5: „For this cause I left 
thee in Crete that thou shouldest set in order the things that 
are wanting, and ordain elders in every city as I have ap- 
pointed thee ;" 2. Tim* 2, 2 : „the things that thou hast heard 
of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faith- 
ful men, who shall be able to teach others also." 

783. The worldly authorities. In the times of the Old tes- 
tament they were bound to take care that the office of the mi- 
nistry be properly attended to and filled by godly people ; thus 
for instance. King Salomon, 1. King. 2, 27. 35; Hjskias, 2. 
Kings. 18, 4; Josaphat, 2. Cbron. 17, 6; Josiah, 2. Chron. 
35, 2; Judas Maccabeus, 1. Mace, 4, 42. This circumstance 
should serve as an example to Christians. And this obedience 
has indeed been yielded by all Christians, until the time the 
Pope thought fit to command "them to deny it the higher authorities. 

784. The lay members of the Church ought also to have 
a vote in the election of their minister. Thus we read that 
Matthias had been elected by the whole assembly of the 
faithful. Acts. 1, 23; that the Congregation at Jerusalem had 
sent Paul and other elders into Antioch, Acts. 15, 25. 26. 
This privilege has moreover been exercised by the laity in the 
first centuries of the Church, until the Popes took it upon them- 
selves to deprive them of it. 

785. For the purpose of carrying into efiect the election 
of the minister in the manner stated above, it is customary to 
elect a few individuals from every class, who as a body are 
authorised to make this election. — Or in other places it is 
usual for the lay members of'the Church to propose a minister 
to the other classes, who might either choose from among them 
persons fit for the office, or otherwise reject them. But this is lefi 
to the option and agreement of the diflferent classes of the Church. 

786. y. The proceedings relative to the appointing of a mi- 
nister into the Church. These are: 

1. The election; Avhich is a privilege of the parties stated 
above, and ought to be exercised with a view to the promo- 

16 



242 Chap. XXVni. Of the office of the ministry. 

ting God's glory, the wellfare of the Church, and the Salva- 
tion of mankind. - . J 

2. The vocation or caZZmff,£ whereby the minister is ac- 
quainted with the fact of his having been chosen, and reques- 
ted to accept of the same, and t6 fill his office with diligence 
and sobriety! 

3. Ordination!, This is ai custom which has been in use in 
the time of the Apostles, and in the primitive Church. The 
Apostles used to ordain the elders by the laying on of hands, 
— perhaps for the same reason as the sacrifices of the old 
testament had to be set apart for holy purposes by the laying 
on of hands, Lev. 3, 2; 4, 15; or as, under the same dispen- 
sation, the*Levites had to be ordained to the service of the 
temple by the laying on of hands. Numb. 8, 10. This laying 
on of hand is done, that thereby the minister might know that 
he has been set aside to be a minister of God's word, and 
that he might perform the duties of his office with due care 
and solemnity. And this custom has not been retained from 
any necessity whatsoever, but from the free option of the 
Church, -^ and because it has pleased God to bestow his 
spiritual gifla more especially by means of laying on of hands, 
1. Tim. 4, 14: „Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which 
was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands 
of the presbytery;" 2. Tim. 1, 6: „I put thee in remembrance 
that thbu stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by thef 
putting on of my hands." 

787. Thus far we have been treating of the ordinary rules 
attending the induction of a minister in his office. It is now 
necessary for us to consider the way in which the great Reformef 
Dr. MARTIN LUTHER has been called to that holy of- 
fice, and to inquire, whether his authority to bring to lighi again 
the word of God^ and to reform the Church from the errors of 
Popery,, has proceeded from God or from man. We reply: 
that Luther had been called to perform this great and glorious 
work by God, who did call hini partly with and partly with- 
out outward means. , 

788. As the means, by which Luther has been called to this 
great work, are to be considered Luther's having been or- 
dained into the Church, and his having been chosen Professor 
at "Wittenberg, where it was his duty to expound the word 
of God; as also his having been made Doctor of Divinity, 
whereby he was bound publicly to teach and to promote the 
knowledge of the saving faith. Accordingly, as soon as he 
made it a point to perform his duties in a conscientious 
nianner , he ' could not fail thereby to bring to light the truth 
of the Gospel, and expose the errors of darkness. And indeed) 



Chap. XXVIU. Of the office of the ministry. 243 

Luther has also been distinguished by God, peculiarly in that He 
blessed in an extraordinary manner his exertions in the ful- 
filment of an office, to which he had been called in a regular 
way. For it pleased God by Luther's exertions, to cause the 
Antichrist to be exposed, and to have His word restored 
again unto men. 

Again Luther was called without any outward means. 
For, in the first place, God has promised to send an Angel, 
who was to „fly m the midst of heaven, having the everlasting 
Gospelto preach unto them that dwell on the earth (Kev. 14. 
6), swing with a loud voice, „fear God and give glory to him 
. . . Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city and is become 
the habitation of the devil," Eev. 18, 1. — Secondly it is evi- 
dent that this work erf exposing the Antichrist has been a 
truly godly work, which God has been pleased to have carried 
into eflfect by means of Luther. And more especially the fact, 
that by his exertions the pure saving faith, as taught by the 
Gospel has' been secured to us, agam sufficiently proves that 
his doings have been firom God, since none comd perform 
them who has not been sent and inspired by God for this pur- 
pose. 

789. F. Are there to be different orders amongst the mi- 
msters of the Church f Concerning this question, we have to 
attend to three different points: 

«.that there are to be different orders, because He bestowed 
upon some men His gifts in a larger extent than upon 
others. It is true that all, who have been ordained by Grod 
into the office, are fit to exercise its functions to their utmost ex- 
tent. But there are some who, in extraordinary cases, stand 
in need of advice and instruction, which is not the case with 
others, who are rather able to govern and to direct. And this 
is confirmed by our every day's experience; that there is among 
men a diversity of gifts; as is acknowledged by St. Paul him- 
self, 1 Cor. 12, 8. ff. _ 

According to this diversity, God has also ordained a di- 
versity of duties. In the Old testament there were ordained 
Prophets, Priests and Highroriests ; and in the New Testament, 
th6re are Apostles, Evangelists, Elders, Pastors and Teachers, 
Eph. 4, 11. Thus Titus was ordained by Paul to be Bishop 
(not Apostle) at Crete, and commanded to ordain elders in 
every city, Titus 1, 5. And experience teaches us, that the 
retaining of the order of things, as described above has been 
conducive to the maintainahce of order and discipHne in the 
church. 

790. j3. But this order of things we are permitted to change 
and to arrange as appears most convenient, since there is no 

16* 



244 Chap. XXVin. Of the office of the ministry. 

certain rule given to us in this repect. But on such occasions 
the apostoical admonition ought never to be lost sight of: ,,Let 
all things be done decently and in good order, 1 Cor. 14, 40. . 

791. f. In this order of things it is not intended, that the whole 
affairs of the Church should be put into the hands of, and sub- 
ordinated to, one Bishop; for: 

1. In the recapitulation of the diflferent callings in the 
Church, 1 Cor. 12, 8. ff.; Ephes. 4, 11. such a common head 
and Bishop is not mentioned; from which we conclude, that 
such an order of things has not been intended by Christ and 
his Apostles. 

2. The Lord Jesus has frequently warned his disciples, 
that none of them should strive to be first and lord over of the 
rest, Mrk. 9, 34; Matth. 20, 26. 27; Luk. 22, 25. '26: „The 
Kings of the gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they 
that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But 
ye shall not be so ; but he that is greatest among you , let 
him be as the younger ; and he that is chief as he that doeth 
serve." 

3. The Lord Jesus has had, on the occasion of his dis- 
ciples contending for the precedence, a fit opportunity offered 
to him, to make known his will on that score. If it had been 
his will to institute one common head over the Christian 
world, he would have decidedly done it at that moment. But 
this he has not done, thereby indicating that be is not min- 
ded to have such an order of things in his Church. Finally 

4. Neither the Apostles , nor any of the orthodox teachers 
have ever assumed such on authority, nor ever endeavoured to 
exercise it. 

792. The Lord Jesus has, on the contrary, given to all 
Apostles one and the same instructions , Matth. 28, , 19. 20. 
He has not, for instance, given unto Peter more particular 
instructions, and adviced the others to subject themselves unto 
him as their common head. Nor has it ever been his inten- 
tion that all Churches that were to be founded by the diffe- 
rent Apostles, should subject themselves to Peter and his 
successors, as their head and ruler. For we know that the 
Aposties never did acknowledge Peter to be their head, but 
on the contrary Paul writes, 2 Cor. 11, 5. and Galat. 2, 11. 
5, and Galat. 2, 11: ,,I suppose I was not, a whit behind the 
very chiefest of the Apostles;" and „I withstood him to the 
face, because he was to be blamed." Nor do we know of 
iiny case that in the primitive Church any one did presume 
to take upon himself a position like that of the head of the 
Church, or who had been considered as such, until the 



Chap. XXVIII. Of the office of the ministry. 245 

Popes endeavoured and succeeded to gain this power over the 
Church. 

793. The Lord Jesus will give unto no other the title 
and office of „the head of the Church," Ephes. 5, 22; Col. 1, 
18; nor that of „chief Shepherd," 1 Pet. 5, 4. Accordingly 
no body should assume this title and office, which would be 
the case, as soon as any man would pretend to be the head 
of the Church. 

794. G}. The effects' of this office. These are in a great 
measure pointed out by the different names which that office 
bears in scripture. Thus the ministers are called: „stewards 
of the mysteries of God," 1 Cor. 4, 1; „servant8," Rom. 1, 1; 
„ministers" (servants), 15, 16; „planters," 1 Cor. 3, 6. ff.; 
„masterbuilders," 1 Cor. 3, 10; „pa8tor8," Ephes. 4, 11; „la- 
bourers in the harvest," Matth. 9, 38; „ambassadors," 2 Cor. 
5, 20. — Now we know that the servants of a house as long 
as they properly do their duty, are not without profit to the 
household. And in the same way those who have been or- 
dained into the Church, will not labour in vain. The result of 
the Apostles exertions was, as is welknown, the propogation 
of the Gospel of Christ in all the world, 1 Col. 1, 23, and 
that by their means a great number of men have come to the 
knowledge of the truth. The calling of the Apostle Paul we 
find described in the following very beautiful words: „I will 
appear unto thee, deliverning thee from the Gentiles, unto 
whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them 
from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, 
that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among 
them iohich are sanctified by faith that is in me." — And of 
the office with which Timothy was entrusted, Paul says: „7»i 
doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.,"' 
1 Tim. 4, 16. Again of Peter: „ Who (Cornelius) shall tell thee 
words, whereby thou and thy house shall be saved,"' Acts. 11, 
14. And with regard to all teachers he says, 2 Cor. 4, 7: 
„We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of 
the power nmy be of God, and not of us,'-' and, 1 Cor. 1, 21 : 
„It pleased God by the foolishness of preachmg to save them 
that believe." 

795. Finally wo have to consider. 

H. The means whereby a minister is to be maintained; the 
reply to this is Sufficiently clear from the word of God, na- 
mely: they are to be maintained by those, whom they teach. 

The Priests of the Old Testament had no heritage in Is- 
rael, they were to be supported by the tithe, Deut. 14, 28. 29 ; 
by the firstfruit of the harvest, Levit. 23, 10: Numb. 18, 12. 
13; by the money wherewith the firethorn were to be redeemed, 



246 Chap. XXVIII. Of the office of the ministry. 

Exod. 22, 29. 30. etc. For as „they which minister about holy 
things live of the things of the temple," (1 Oor. 9, 13); „even 
80 hath the Lord ordained that they that preach the Gospel, 
showld live of the Gospel," v. 14. It was for this purpose 
that the Lord Jesus did not wish his disciples to provide^ them- 
selves for their journey with money and other reqmsities; 
„for, " says he „the workman is worthy of his meat," Matth. 
10, 9. 10. And though St. Paul did not not avail hiinself of 
this injunction, yet was it not his intention to have this 
support withdrawn from other ministers of the word ; for he 
writes expressly, Gal. 6, 6: „Let Mm that is tau^ktin the word 
communicate imto him that teacheth in all good things;" . 1 Gor. 
9, 7: „Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? 
who planteth a vineyard^ and eateth not the fruit thereof? 
Or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk of the flock? If 
we have sown unto spiritual things, is it a great thing if we 
shall reap your carnal things? Do ye not know that they which 
minister about holy things live ol the things of the temple ? 
and they which wait at tne altar are partakers with the altar? 
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the 
Gospel should live of the Gospel." 

Thus much concerning the office of the ministry, and in 
general concerning the means, whereby God is pleased to raise 
up again man from his sinful state, to preserve him in his spi- 
ntual life, and finally to make him partaker of everlasting 
glory. 



247 



Chapter XXIX. 

God, after having raised up again man from his sinful state preserves hun 
in his Church, which is the congregation of saints and in which worship is 
rendered unto Him, until it pleases Him, at the set lime, to call hun into 

His heritage. 



796. This Article of our ConfeBsion runs as follows : 
„I believe in one Holy Christian Church." 

For like as a, good shepherd carefully gathers his flock into the 
barn, in order to k^epthem frotn any storm or mischief befalling 
them, so the Lord Jesus, who is our good Shepherd, is gathering 
the faithfiil into one Church, protecting them and supplying 
all their spiritual wants. In order to get a right view of this 
christian Church, we have to attend to the followings points. 

797. A.' How it is called; this is twofold, either by 

<x. proper names ; in the greek and latin languages it is cal- 
led: „ecclesia," a calling together, on account 6f Christ's cal- 
ling to it, his people. In the German language it is cal- 
led „Itirche" [in the english „Church"], which [both] seem 
to, be derived from the greek word xvQictxdg, oixog ; and in 
this case it would denote „a house," or „ congregation of the 
Lord." — But there is little importance to be attached to a 
name. 

798.^. by apellaiwes; such are: „Holy," of which we mean 
to treat subsequently. ^Catholic;" with reftirence to this latter, 
we have to observe, that the Komish Church assumes for it- 
self the appellation „catholic," and that she designates such 
as are members of the same as „Catholic Christians," main- 
taining that their's is the only true Church of Christ, and that 
a Church that does not bear this appellative, could not be the 
Church of Christ. To get a clear view of this matter we 
have to inquire : ' 

799. Why the CKarch is called „catholic." Catholic deno- 
tes „general."" Christ's Church is called so in opposition to 
the Jewish Church of the Old Testament , which was institu- 
ted "but for one nation, one country, and was destined to last 
only until the coming of Christ in the flesh. And although 
the heathen were not forbidden .to confess themselves to this 
Church, yet it was more peculiarly given and instituted for 
the Jewish nation, and the temple worship confined to Jerusa- 
lem. For which reason also it could not he propogatsd among 



248 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

other nations. But this is diiFerent with the Church of Christ ; 
she is not confined either to a certain people ,_ or to cer- 
tain countries. The Lord Jesus says concerning it : „lM how 
Cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet cA Jeru- 
salem worship the Father. But the hour cometh, and now is, 
when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and 
in truth, John. 4, 21. 23. And the Apostles were commanded , 
Matth. 28, 19 : „Go ye and teach all nations" etc. Mrk.16, 15: 
„Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every crea- 
ture." — This state of things has been prophesied, Pslm. 19, 
3. 4 : „ There is no speech nor language where their voice is not 
heard; their line is gone out through all the earth; and their 
words to the end of the world;" Isa. 11, 10. „In that day there 
shall be a root of Jesse , which shall stand for an ensign of the 
people, to it shall the Gentiles seek" etc. Accordingly Christ 
can be said to have founded a „catholic" Church, only with 
reference to its being destined, without any distinction, for all 
nations, aU climes, and all times ; a church which was to be 
promoted among all nations and to last until the dissolution 
of the world. 

800. Is the Romish Church entitled to the appellation of ca- 
tholic? We answer: No, because: 

a. This Church does not maintain the pure doctrine of 
Christ, which is the only source of which a „catholic" Church 
can spring, Luk. 8, 11; 1 Pet. 1, 23. 

j3. This Church does not date its origin from the time of 
Christ, but has in the course of Centuries gradually risen to great 
power and importance, by unfair and unworthy means. And 
if they call such a state „catholic," then this is an appellation, 
of which in fact they can derive no benefit. 

801. How many Churches there are? Before we proceed 
to shew the nature of the Church, we have first to make sure, 
what Church we speak of. There are: 

a. A Church militant, and a Church triumphant. — The 
Church militant is the Congregation of the believers , who , in 
this world have always to contend against the devil, the evil 
world, and their own flesh. Of this Church St. Paul speaks 
1. Tim. 1, 18: „This charge I commit unto thee, that thou 
mightest war a good warfure, holding faith and a good con- 
science." 2. Tim. 4, 7: „I have fought a good fight;" 2. Cor. 
7, 5: „When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no 
rest; but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, 
within were fears." — 

The Church triumphant is the assembly of the holy and 
elect, which have come to the enjoyment 'of their Salvation, 
there for ever to join in praises of that God, by whose help 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 249 

thejr had conquered their spiritual enemies „N<yw is come sal- 
vation, and strength, and the Jdngdom of our God, and the 
power of his Christ, for the accuser of the brethren is cast down, 
which accused them before our God day and night," Revel. 12, 
10; „ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and 
riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and 
blessing," Rev. 5, 12. 

802. Again the Church militant, is twofold: vidble and 
invisible. The visible Churcli comprises the assembly of those, 
who , are members of Christ's kmgdom , and who have the 
word x>\ God preached to them in its purity, and the Sacra- 
ment administered according to Christ's will and institution. 
It is called „visible" not because of the Individuals of which 
it consists being visible to the outward eye, — but because of its 
having a visible mode of worship, thereby testifying, that every 
member among them is persuaded of, and has accepted the faith, 
which is preached in that Church, and that all members are de- 
termined to serve one and the same God, and to work out to- 
gether their own salvation. This visible Church is implied, 
when we read, Matth. 18, 17: „If he (thy brother), shall ne- 
glect to hear them, tell it unto the Church: but if he neglect the 
Church let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a Publi- 
can;" Acts. 5, 11: ,,Great fear came upon all the Church;"-. 
Rom. 16, 1 : „Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the Church 
which is at Cenchr^." 

803. The „invisible" Church is not called so because of 
its members not being seen by the eye of the body, but be- 
cause of the faith of its members. Which alone constitutes a 
true Church, being invisible. Accordingly, the invisible Church 
comprises the whole number of true believers that ever lived 
in the world, and which, by their common fiiith are all united 
together in One, even Christ; as it is MTitten, Eph. 3, 17: 
„Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."- This Church is 
invisible because no man is able to discern the hearts and 
thoughts of the believers. For „man looketh at the outward 
appearance," 1. Sam. 16, 7; and it is God alone that knowes 
„the hearts of all the children of men," 1. King. 8, 39. Ac- 
cordingly the Lord alone, ,,knoweth them that are his," 2. Tim. 

2, 19 ; but to us such a knowledge is denied, Rom. 2, 28. 29. 
„He is not a Jew which is one outwardly; but he is a Jew 
which is one inwardly." And St. Peter in his first Epistle 

3, 4 says, that an ornament of a godly woman ought to be 
„the hidden man pf the heart, in that which is not corruptible, 
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit." — Luk. 17, 
20. 21 : „The kingdom of God cometh not with observation : 



250 Chap. XXIX. Of the cburch of Christ. 

neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold the 
hmgdom of God is within you;" Pslm. 45, 13: „The 
ldng\ dauffhter is alt glorious witkim,.'^ This can also be 
proved by the following instaiices : At the time that Ahab was 
persecuting the Prophets of the Lord, Elijah was of opinion 
that he alone had been left from among the number of the 
faithful, 1. King. 19, 10; but he is told by the Lord v. 18: 
„I have lefl: me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees of 
which have not bowed unto Baal." — And of the christian 
Church we are told, that, at the time of its being persecuted 
by the Antichrist, it should „flee into the wilderness," where 
it should find a yplace prepared of God,"- Rev. 12, 6. 

804. This proves that there really exists a distinction be- 
tween the visible and the invisible Church. 

a. In the visible Church there are to be found believers 
and unbelievers. For not all who confess the faith and par- 
take of the Sacraments, are really true believers, but some 
are hypocrites, and almost asmuch unbelievers, as those, who 
have not had preached unto them the word at all; — in the 
invisible Church there cannot be a hypocrite, but every mem- 
ber must be a true believer. 

/3. Into the visible Church we nre admitted by the hearing 
of the word, and the partaking of the Sacraments according 
to the Lords institution — into the invisible Church but by 
faith. 

y. Accordingly the visible Church is also denoted as the 
assembly of those who have been called, — but the invisible 
Church as „the assembly of the electa" although in the latter 
there are also to be found some, who, though they believe 
for a time, are yet falling away again, and perish for e^er. 

805, The visible Church upon earth is again twofold; 
either a general Church, one that is spread over the whole 
earth, or a particular Church, that is bound to the confines 
of a certain country. , 

The gen&ral Church is intended by the Lord Jesus, when 
he says, Matth. 16, 18: „Upon this rock (faith in me) I 
will build my Church;" and this Church is referred to Col. 
1, 18, when the Lord Jesus^ is called „the head of the Church," 
for which he has given himself that „he might sanctify and 
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," Eph. 5, 
26: Members of this general Church are all those, who hold 
the word of God in its purity, and who do partake of the 
Sacramfents; and not only those who are livir^ together on 
one spot and at one and the same period , but all who have 
ever dwellt on earth since its creation, who live now on it, 
and who shall live on it, until the day of judgement. 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Chifet. ^1 

806. From this general Church are to be distinguished 
Uie particular Whurches, which are confined to certain spots. 
Thus the Apostle Paul addressed his Epistles to particular 
Churches as for instance one to the Church of Eome,' one to 
that of Corinth, Ephesus etc. As also in the Acts of the 
Apostles we find mentioned the particular Church at Jerusa- 
lem, Chap. 2, 47; 4, 23 etc. In the same way we speak, in 
our days of the Church of Germany etc. 

807. C. It will now be possible for the reader to under- 
stand what sort of Church we have intended §. 801. . It 
was not the Church triumphant, but the Church militant we 
spoke of; not of any of the particular Churches of certain lands, 
but of that general Church, which is spread over the wbde 
world. But this Church is as we have seen, either visible 
or invisible, and those Christians who are members of the vi- 
sible Church are not always members of the invisible. It is 
therefore necessary to keep in mind, that in our inquiry both-, 
the visible and the invisible Church are spoken ofi, — but 
with this difference, that, if we speak of the outward as- 
sembly, we thereby refer to the visible, and if, on the 
other side, we speak of the spiritual union in the faith , we 
make reference to the invisible Church. This will be clear 
partly from the preceding remarks , partly also from the fol- 
lowing. 

808. IJ. Which Individuals do belong to the Christian 
Church? In this respect there is again to be made the same 
distinction. Namely to the invisible Church belong all those 
who have the true faith within their heart, and not the mere 
outward appearance of it , and are thereby spiritually ■ united 
to Christ. Such as have this faith are in reality the true 
members of the Church, their circumstances be whatever they 
may. But in the case of any Individual not having this iri- 
ward faith, no earthly authority or power whatsoever is able 
to make him a member of that Church; and he, as well as all 
unbelievers, can never become members of Christ's spiritual 
body, which is the Church. 

809. Members of the visible Church are : 

a. According to the will of God, all- men. For He invites 
them all, without any distinction; and there is no distinction 
between Jews and Gentiles, since He also calls the Gentiles 
into His kingdom, Isai. 11,; 12: „In that day there shall' be a 
root of Jesse , which shall stand for an ensign of the people ; 
to it shall the Gentiles seek;'* Acts. 10, 35: „In every nation 
he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable 
with him" (for being received into the christian Church); 
Gal. 3, 28: „There is neither Jew nor greek, there is i^ neither 



252 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all 
one in Christ}'' 

• ■ 810. 8. According to outward ampearances all those who 
hear the preaching of the word, and pa/rtake of the Sacra- 
ments. We on our part cannot make any difference, whether 
they are godd or evil, behevers or unbeHevers, sincere or not ; 
for as we can judge only by outward appearances, christian 
charity ought to induce us, „to hope every thing, to beUeve 
every thing," 1. Cor. 13, 7; and to suppose that all, who 
confess themselves to be members of the Church, are in rea- 
lity so, within their hearts. Thus, for instance, Simon the 
Sorcerer was looked upon as a Christian , because of his ha- 
ving received baptism. Acts. 8, 13 ; as was also the case with 
Demas, Paul's assistance, who yet turned out not to be a 
Christian at all, 2. Tim. 4, 10. 

811. This state of things is compared by Christ to „a 
net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; 
which when it was full, -they drew to shore, and sat down, 
and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away," 
Matth. 13, 47 ff. In another place he compares it to a afield, 
„upon which the good seed and the tares grow up together," 
V. 38; — and again to the royal marriage feast, to which 
came alike the worthy and the unworthy, Matth. 22, 10. 11. 

Exactly so it is in the Church; for there are also some, 
who have merely the outward appearance of being worthy 
members, yet not without also outwardly differing from the 
true Christians. This is sufficiently explained by the parables 
quoted above; and St. John writes, 1. Ep. 2, 18. 19: „Even 
now are there many Antichrists; they went out from us, but 
they were not of us ; for if they had keen of us , they would no 
doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might 
be made manUest, thai they were not all of us." In the same 
manner St. Paid makes a distinction between those who 
maintain heresies and between the true christians, 1. Cor. 11, 
19 : „There must be also heresies among you, that thej'^ which 
are approved may be made manifest among you." 

812. Y- -^ reality it are only the believers who are to be 
looked upon as members of the visible Church, and not those, 
whose faith is shipwrecked either by their maintaining erro- 
neous doctrines, or by an ungodly walk. 

By erroneous doctrines. For those cannot be said in rea- 
lity to belong to the Church who, by their maintaining er- 
roneous doctrines, are hindered from receiving into their hearts 
the saving faith of the Gospel. Thus we read of Hymenaeu^, 
PhUetus and Alexander having suffered shipwreck, because of 
their unwillingness to believe the doctrine concerning the resur- 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 253 

rection from the dead; and, we know that Paul, in that he 
gave them over unto Satan, 1. Tim. 1, 19. 20; 2. Tim. 2, 
17. 18, did not consider them members of the Church. Indi- 
viduals of this description are called ^heretics ;" and although 
they may not fall away by an ungodly walk, and although 
they may partly maintain the true faith, and confess Christ, 
yet, as long as they adhere to an erroneous doctrine, they 
cannot possibly acquire the saving faith of the Gospel; and 
they are moreover to be considered as dangerous Individuals, 
inasmuch as they might mislead others also. 

813. By an imgodly walk; all those become void of their 
faith, who fall into gross sin, and commit the same willing- 
ly, in spite of the warnings of their own consciences. It has 
been shown already in which way such may and do lose their 
faith. Thus St. Paul excommunicated a man at Corinth, be- 
cause of his having married his father's wife, and that he de- 
sired him not to be considered a member as long as he did 
not repent, 1. Cor. 5, 5. Accordingly such a sinner is with- 
out the pale of the Church, and the communion of Christ, as 
long as he remains in his sins. . But there is no sinner so 
atrocious, but who after having repented, might not be recei- 
ved again into the Church; and in the same way any Indivi- 
dual, that has been once a member of the Church, but has 
fallen away again, may be, after having repented of his new 
error, admitted again into the Church: „If a man be over- 
taken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in 
the spirit of meekness," Gal. 6, 1. 

814. E. The qualities and characteristios of the Ckwrch. 
These are: 

«. Purity; as we read, Ephes. 5, 25. 26. 27: „Christ lo- 
ved the Church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify 
and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he 
might present it to l?imself a glorious Church, not having spot, 
or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it ahouldbe holy and 
without blemish."' And this purity it is, we have imputed unto 
us, when we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, 
Isa. 61, 10. Now it has been substantiated already, that those 
unworthy people also are frequently found to be members of 
the (visible) Church; as also in a previous Chapter, that our 
regeneration never is perfect as long as we are on this earth, 
and that even the very saints have continually to contend with 
their spiritual enemies. And thus is the Church, in the midst 
of its purity, as stated above, not without sin, and without 
daily blemish. But these spots we know to be hid, as it^ 
were, from the judgement of God, since „there is no condem- 
nation to them which are in Christ Jesus," Rom. 8, 1. 



254 Chap. XXIX. Of the church oi Christ. 

815. /S. Unity. We confess in our Creed: „I believe in one 
christian Chjircli" etc. For there is but this one Church, 
which comprises all true believers. This has never been questio- 
ned. But the Church is also the congregation of God's holy 
and believing people; and it may therefore appear strange, 
that there should be found, in this assembly of the holy and 
codly people, divers heresies and heretics, which give cause 
to much strive, dissension and disunion. And considering 
this circumstance many a one might be inclined to believe it 
to be rather the school of Satan, than the Church of God. 
But it ought to be remembered: 

816. 1. That the devil is a bitter enemy of the Church 
of Christ, and is ever ready to do -it some mischief or other, 
Matth. 13, 37. ff. : „He that soweth a good seed is the Son of 
Man; the field is the world. The good seed are the children 
of the Kingdom; hft the tares are the children oj the wicked 
one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil." — Besides 

2. There are also men, who instigated by Satan and by 
their own ambition, selfishness etc. endeavour to spread erro- 
neous doctrines in the Church, 1 Tim. 4, 1 : „In the latter 
times some shall- depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing 
spirits and doctrines of the devil.'-'- This has been more parti- 
cijarly spoken of by the Apostle, 2 Tim. 3, 2 fF. Now there 
can never be any concord between Christ and Belial, 2 Cor. 
6, 15 ; and, accordingly, as long as the Church has this enemy, 
so long is it not impossible for heresies to be broached within 
its pale; 

817. God permits this state of things for two reasons : 
aa. As a punishment to a disobedient world, which. loves 

„darknes8 rather than light," John. 3, 19; ,,/or this cause 
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a 
lie: that they all might be danpied who believe not the truth, but 
have pleamre in unrighteousness," 2 Thess, 2, 11. 12; 

bb. As a trial for those who are belieoefs „there must be 
also heresies among you, that they which are approved might be 
made manifest in you," 1 Cor. 1, 19, 

Again we have to keep in mind that 

818. 3. It has been prophesied before hand that there were 
to rise heresies in the Church. Simon prophecies concerning 
Jesus, Luk. 2, 34: ,,this child is set for the fall and rising 
again of many in Israel-^ and for a sign which shall be spoken 
against;" Acts. 20, 29. 30: „I know this that after my depar- 
ting shall grievous wolves enter among you,, not sparing the flock;, 
also of your ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, 
to draw away disdples after them." And more especially concer- 
ning the last times, we are told, Kev. 12, 12 : „Woe to: e 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 255 

inhabiters of the earth and the seal for the devil is come 
down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that 
he has bwt a short time;-' Matth. 24, 24: „ There shall arise 
false Chnsts, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and 
wonders; insomuch that if it were possible theu shall deceive the 
very elect;'-' cf. also 2 Tim. 3, 1. 

^^j-lr^' ■^'* *^^ *'^'^ A** '*'^^* °f ^ Church there have also 
risen d^erent sScts, of which mention is made in scrip- 
ture. Thus we read of there having arisen a contention be- 
tween Peter and Simon the Sorcerer, Acts. 8, 18 ff.; between 
Paul and those among the Apostles, who erred in mixing up 
the Law and the Gospel, Acts. 15, 2. ff.; also of dissensions 
havmg been caused by the Nicolaitanes, Eev. 2, 6. 15 ; and 
finally of Jezebel |javing endeavoured to seduce the Lord's 
servants, v. 20. In another place we are told, that the bishops 
of Smyrna and Pergamos had to do with the Synago- 
gue .of Satan, Eev. 2, 9. 13- If there are therefore arising in 
the church all sorts of heresies and sects, this ought to alarm 
nobody, since their rising is in the very nature of the church, 
and since they have taken place even in the earliest times of 
the church. 

820. y. (cf. §. 814) 7he church's duration unto the end, 
Christ was not sent to institute a Church which, like the 
Jewish dispensation, was to last but for a limited period; and 
accordingly it is considered as one of the characteristics of his 
Church, that it should never cease to exist. Concerning this, 
we have to keep in mind two things, viz: 

That the Church is never to cease in this world. We have 
already pointed out the difference that exists between the in- 
visible Church, that rests upon faith, and the visible one, that 
manifests itself in the external services. The invisible Church 
never can cease; for although the number of the believers be 
but small, yet Christ's promises will always remain true; and 
he expressly says , that „the gates of hell shall not prevail" 
against his Church, Matth. 16, 18; as also Matth. 28, 20: 
„Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 
— In the time of Elijah God had reserved unto himself seven 
thousand believers, without Elijah ever being aware of the fact> 
or knowing them to be such, 1 King. 19, 18. In the same 
way also He preserves unto Himself in our days a number 
of faithful believers, who are known to no other than unto 
Him. 2 Tim. 2, 19. Which circumstance has also been refer- 
red to by Daniel, Chap. 2, 44 i „the Lord of heaven shall set 
up a Mngdom, which shall never be destroyed : it shall break 
in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for 
ever."- ■ 'i - 



256 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

821. This leads us naturally to the question : Whether, 
under the reign of Popish darhness, and before Luther began to 
reform the Church, therfi has also eodsted a Christian Chwrch, 
and if so, where it was to be found. We reply: 

In the first place: As it was prophesied of the church that, 
at that period, she was to flee into the wilderness, it needs no 
farther proof, where she was then to be found. It was God's 
pleasure to hid her in such a M-ay, as to mate it impossible 
even for the devil to find and persecute her. 

In the second place. AVherever, even then, the word 
has been preached in its purity, and the Sacraments dispen- 
sed in conformity with Christ's will, there has been an as- 
sembly of the faithful. For the word of God is never prea- 
ched ip vain, but God has given us the following promise: 
„My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accom- 
plish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing . 
whereunto I send it," Isa. 55, 11. There are, accordingly, 
always some men who are true believers^ though they are but 
few. And as the Sacrament of baptism mvariably regenerates 
those, who have the same conferred upon them, there must 
of necessity be always a number of children at least, who 
are in reality members of the true Church. 

822. Accordingly, under the reign of Popery there have 
been members of the true Church: 

1. Those who by baptism had been engrafted into Christ 
and thereby made his members, — before any error had per- 
verted their minds; 

2. those who have been converted by the preaching of 
the word, and have partly not disdained to expose the errors 
of Popery, and of which some are mentioned in History, but 
whose number is doubtless very much greater; 

3. those who have mourned over the corruptions of Po- 
pery, of which also some cases have come to our knowledge; 
and finally 

4. Those who have not allowed themselves to be drawn 
away from the word of God, taking from it their know- 
ledge of the saving faith, and have remained in the same unto 
the end. 

823. In which way is it possible for the {visible) Church 
to cease on earth. This might come to pass in times, when 
the public worship has ceased and there remain only secret 
believers ; as was the case at the time of Nicodemus , John. 
3, 2, and Joseph of Arimathia, John. 19, 38. — The possi- 
bility of such a decay can be proved by the following: 

1. Such a state of things has been prophesied to come 
to pass in the times of the Antichrist, Rev. 12, ,6: „The 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 257 

woman (the church) fled into the wildemessj that they should 
feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years ;" 
V. 13, 14: „When the Dragon saw that he was onst unto 
the earth, he persecuted the woman; and to the woman were 
given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the 
wilderness" etc. — Eev. 13, 3. 4. 7 : „A11 the earth wandered 
after the bealst, and they worshipped the Dragon which gave 
power unto the beast. And it was given unto him to make 
war with the saints and to overcome them; and power was 
given. him over all kindreds and tongues aud nations;** cf. 
also Chap. 14, 8; 17, 2. 15; 18, 3. 

2. We know, that at diflPerent periotls the Church has alrea- 
dy fallen into such a state of decay; as for instance in the reign of 
king Ahab, when Ejjijah thought that there had remained none 
of the Lord's people upon earth, 1 Kings. 19, 14; — also 
during the babylonian captivity, whereby the worship in the 
temple of the Jews had been made to cease for 70 years, and 
on which occasion but four men were to be found, who stead- 
fastly refused to conform to heathen idolatries, — namely Da- 
niel, Sadrach, Melech and Abednego, Dan. 3, 12. 

3. At the time of our Lord's passion, there were none 
who confessed themselves publicly to him, much less any pub- 
lic services, and in all appearance there was no visible church. 

All these things which have happend, or are still to 

happen under the reign of the Antichrist, are quite in keep- 
ing with the nature of the church of Christ. 

824. Now, the Lord Jesus compares the Church to a city 
that is set on a hill and that cannot be hid, Matth. 5, 14. But 
this must be understood to refer to its state of unity and perfect- 
ness, but not to the state of dissension. A city, though situ- 
ated on a hill may yet be hid from the view, by the fall of 
night; yea even the Sun itself may be withdrawn, at least 
from our view, and darkened by clouds, though in truth his 
light can never be darkened. In the same manner the church 
is always (with but few exceptions) before every bodys eyes. 

825. S. The possession of the eternal truth. For the Church 
cannot be withcmt the true faith as long as she holds fast the 
word of God. And as the invisible Church is constituted of 
the whole assembly of the true believers, it follows that she 
never can err with respect to those essential doctrines of the 
christian faith, without which faith cannot grow within the 
heart of man. For if it was possible for the invisible Church 
to err, then there could not be any Church at all on earth; 
but that there is to be a Church on earth has been proved 
previously. Nevertheless there is not one among the believers 
who is not liable to falling into dangerous errors, and thereby 

17 



258 Chap. XXIV. Of the church of Christ. 

casting his faith from him. But of this subsequently. — Of 
the elect" amongst these lattermentioned, God has known from 
eternity, that they were to return again to the faith from which 
thev had fallen; and they do so, before departing this life — 
for "^ God's Prescience cannot fail. 

826. In which way can the Church fall from the true faiiM 

1. By departing from the word of God; 

2. Particular Churches may fall into . error and thereby 
separate themselves from the Church, as, for instance, in the 
case of the Arian heresy. 

3. It is also possible for the general visible Church to fall 
from the true faith, if 'she should happen to permit erroneous 
doctrines being taught, and the purity of the worship being 
polluted, ^^•ithin her pale. F,or we have shewn it already to 
be possible for the whole visible Church to vanish from the 
oartn. 

827. F. The characteristics whereby the ta-ue faith might he 
distinguished from that which is not so. For this purpose there 
can be no better criterion than the preaching of the word . in 
all its purity, and the dispeiising of the Sacraments in confor- 
mity with Christ's institution. For: 

a. Word and Sacrament are the only means by which 
the Church is propogated upon earth: and accordingly in every 
place where these legitimate means are put forth, there must 
be the Church itself. For of the word of God we have the 
promise that it is never to return void, Isa. 55, 11. 

This word itself we find designated as the seed of the 
Church, Luk. 8, 11. And 1 Peter. 1, 23. we read „Being bom 
again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word 
of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."- The Lord Jesus, 
being about to institute bis Church, commanded his Apostles 
to ,.,go and teach all nations, baptizing them." etc. Matth. 28, 
29 ; and, accordingly, Paul says 1 Cor. 4, 15 : „In Christ Je-. 
sus I have begotten you in the Oospel." 

Concerning the .Sacraments, and more especially concerning 
baptism, it has been stated already that it is the washing of 
regeneration, etc. Tit. 3, 5 ; that every one who desires to en- 
ter into the kingdom of heaven must first be born again of 
water and the Holy Spirit, John. 3, 5. Accordingly, wher- 
ever the word and Sacraments are set forth in their purity, there 
is also the Church ; and wherever this is not the case and 
consequently the legitimate means of grace absent, there can- 
not be said to be the Church. 

828. /?. The word and Sacraments are the privileges of 
the church and their administration her proper business. John. 
10, 27: „my sheep hear my voice;" Chap. 8, 47: „He that is 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 259 

of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear thkm not because 
ye are not of God." Chap. 14, 23 : „if a man love me he will 
keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come 
unto him and make our abode with him." Wherever these acts 
are carried into effect there must be found the Church, and ac- 
cordingly we conclude that wherever the word is preached in its 
purity, and the Sacraments administered in conformity to Christ's 
mstitution, there must be the Church. And on the other hand > 
wherever these characteristics are wanting, there we cannot 
speak of the existence of a Church. 

829. Because those who have the true faith, differ from those 
who maintain errors, by the very Jact, that the' first are obeying the 
word of God andpartmng of the Sacraments in the right way and 
the others not. Johif 8. 31 : „^ ye continue in my word, then 
are ye my disciples indeed;" Matth. 7, 15. 16: „Beware of false 
prophets, ye shall know them by their fruits," (that is: their 
teaching). Those charactiristics by which the orthodox are dis- 
tinguished from the heretics are also the characteristics of a 
true Church; and accordingly we conclude from the statement 
made just now, that the obedience to the word and the right 
use of the Sacraments are a mark of the true Church. — For 
our purpose it suffices us to show, where the Chwrch of Christ 
is, and where not; and we do not heed others, — such as : 

830. aa. Antiquity, that is, that tliat Church is to be consi- 
dered the true Church, which is the oldest Church in the world. 
This antiquity is made to refer either to the time of the 
Churche's foundation or to its outward authority. As to 
foundation, that Church must be considered of the "highest an- 
tiquity, which has first started in view to the eye of tne world. 
Thus for instance, at the time the Lord Jesus and his Apost- 
les were preaching among the Jews, their Church seemed to 
be the New one, and that of the Pharisees the Old one. But 
on a closer consideration we find that the Church of Christ 
had been alrelady preached in the first promise that was ever 
given' (that the seed of the woman should pierce the serpent's 
head, Genes. ;3, 15), and that it consequently was older than 
that of the Pharisees, yea the oldest among all; whilst the 
Church of the Pharisees was not older than the doctrine they 
maintained, and which had been invented but recently. 

831. Nor can we judge about the antiquity ofany Church 
by the outward authority she has power to maintain. For we 
are nowhere advised in scripture to judge the orthodoxy of a 
Church by a reference to its antiquity and its external impor- 
tance. It we did so, it would come to this, that we adjudged 
the true Church to be the erroneous Church, and the reverse. 

17* 



260 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

Thus for instance , at the time that God determined to raise unto 
Himself a nation, from the house of Abraham that should 
worship Him , and to this end led Abraham out of the land 
of Ch^dea, — Abraham had already a Church, in which he 
and his house had worshipped certain gods, Joshua 24, 2. 
This Church was to be considered an old Church with refe- 
rence to that instituted but recently by God, and yet was Ab- 
raham to give preference to the Old? — Again at the time 
the children of Israel were led out by God from the bondage 
of Egypt, who instituted His services among that people, the 
Egyptian superstitions were much older, than the newly pro- 
claimed creed; and accordingly if age was to be given the 
preference, what must have happened? .And the christian 
faith also, on its first going out into the world, was consi- 
dered to be new, Acts. 17, 19: „May we know what this new 
doctrine whereof thou speahest, isP'- Whilst the idolatry of 
these very men that put these question was of a very long 
standing; but in spite of its antiquity it could not be pronoun- 
ced to be true, as little as the christian faith, because of its 
being new, could be said to be erroneous. And in the time 
of popish darkness the Church has also been hidden for a 
short time, from which it has emerged anew, according to the 
promise, Eev. 14, 6; 18, 4. But we can, nevertheless not 
say that Popery, because of its antiquity was true etc. 

832. bb. Nor can we be guided in our judgement concer- 
ning any Church, by the extendveness of the same. Some 
there are, who maintain that that Church must be the true 
Church, which is spread most extensively upon earth. It is 
true that the limits of the Church are none other than those of 
the world; but that this Church is not permitted everywhere 
the free and open manifestation and worship, — nobody will 
attempt to deny. Nevertheless we cannot admit the assertion 
to be true, that that Church must be the true Church of 
Christ, whose visible communion and worship is the most 
extensive one of all. Christ addresses his Church as a 
JiUle flock," Luk. 12, 32. At the time of our Lord's suffe- 
rings the Church had become so „little," that for a time 
there were none that believed on him, and at another time 
again but two or three. Whilst on the contrary the whole 
lump of the people were on the side of the Pharisees, — thus 
making the erroneous Church much more extensive then the 
true Church. Likewise the Arian hersy had also overspread 
almost every land in which a christian Church was to be 
found, whilst but few adhered to the true faith, — and yet 
the Arian Churches could not be said to be the true Churches. 
— Of the Antichrist we are told, that he was to subdue na- 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 261 

tions, kings, generations etc., Rev. 13, 3. 7; 14, 8j 17, 2. 15; 
18, 3, whereby the Church of Christ was to be oppressed in 
such a way, as wquld compel her to hide herself in the wil- 
derness, Rev. 12, 6. — And concerning the last time, we 
have the prophecy that there are to rise many false prophets 
and false Christs that should, if it were possible ^deceive the 
very elect," Matth. 24, 24. And from the words of our Lord, 
Luk. 18, 8, we are led to conclude that the number of those 
who are misled should be larger, than that of the faithful, 
„whm the Son of man cometh shall he find faith on earth f^ 

833. y^ Some affirm that that Church must be the true 
Church which is able to perform miracles, and that wherever 
these characteristics are not to be met with, there cannot be the 
true Church. — There is no doubt that God, in His Provi- 
dence, even in our days is performing many miraculous works 
amongstus, but in the case before us these kinds of miracles 
are not intended, — but such as have been wrought by Christ 
and his Apostles for the support of the faith which they 
preached, ouch miracles were then employed in order to tes- 
tify who was the true Messiah and Saviour, Isai. 35, 4. 5: 
„God will come with vengeance, even God with a recom- 
pence: he will come and help you; then the eyes of the blind 
shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; 
then shall the lame man leap as an hart and the tongue of 
the dumb sing." — But we are nowhere told that this state 
of things was a,lso_to serve as a criterion, after the Church 
had once been instituted, since: . 

834. 1. It is not possible for us to discern whether such 
miracles are from God or from Satan. For miracles of this 
kind are. not only not promised to us in the Bible, but we 
are, on the contrary, warned to beware of rniracles, which are 
performed independent of God's word. It is, moreover, very 
easy for the devil to blind and deceive man, by his false mi- 
racles, which we are able to distinguish from divine miracles 
only by examining the word of God,, whether such miracles 
have been promised in it, or not. Now we do not meet with 
any word or passage in scripture, wherein the continuance of 
these miracles has been promised to the Church of Christ; 
which makes it impossible for us to know, whether any mi- 
racle (performed in our days) is the work of Satan or of God. 

835. 2. We are told that the wonders of the last days are 
to be of a dangerous nature, and are warned not to give 
them any heed, Matth. 24, 24flE'.: „There shall arise false 
Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and 
wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive 



262 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

the every elect. Behold I have told you before; wherefore if 
they shall say unto you, Behold he is in the desert, go not 
forth: behold he is in the secret chambers, believe it not." 

Being thus warned against miracles, it is not possible for 
us, to consider their existence in any Church, as a mark of 
her being the true Church. 

836. 3. Miracles have been pointed out by God as one of 
the marks oj the Andohrist; this is done in the passage quoted 
above (Matth. 24, 24), and more especially, 2. Thess. 2, 9: 
„Him (the Wicked) .whose coming is after the working of Sa- 
tan, wuh all power and signs and lying wonders;'-' Kev. 13, 13. 
14: .„And (the other beast) deceiveth them that dwell on eaHh 
by the means of these miracles, so that he maketh fvre come 
down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." And as 
the sign of the Antichrist , cannot at the same time be 
looked upon as the mark of a true Church, it follows that 
miracles cannot now be looked upon as marks of a true 
Churcb. 

837. 4. The gift of performing miracles has not been claim- 
ed by the Church for many centuries after its foundation nor 
is it the case in our days; and accordingly if the power to 
perform miracles really did constitute a mark of the true 
Church , they must necessarly always be found with the 
Church. But this has not been the case, — and therefore 
miracles are not a mark of the true Church. 

838. As to the miracles which are professedly performed 
daily in the Popish Church, we state 

a. that the Holy Ghost has marked them out long ago 
as lying wonders; 

b. that such wonders are always reported to have oc- 
cured at a distance of many hundred miles, from whence 
it scarcely ever was possible to get at more detailed informa- 
tion; and ' 

c. that neither the Pope, nor any of his partisans have 
ever performed any miracle for the purposes of refuting the 
doctrines as taught by the Protestant Cnurch, which they surely 
would have done, were they in any way able to perform a 
miracle. 

839. Cr- The authority of the Church. It is not in the 
power of the Church to compel any man to accept of the 
christian faith, — or to govern the consciences of men. 
For though the Church might sometimes succeed in compel- 
ling any Individual to conform to its tenets, : — yet within 
his heart he certainly will not give way to- these persuasions 
befor he has not been convinced of the truth of her creed. — 



Chap. XXIX, Of the church of Christ. 263 

But in a compulsory manner the Church is not permitted to 
act, for 

N. this power has not been committed to the Church; 
D- nor has it ever been exercised by her; on the contrary, 
3. the Lord Jesus has expressly forbidden compulsory 
means so be used, Luk. 9, 55. 56. On the occasion of the 
Samaritans not being willing to receive the Lord Jesus and 
the Gospel of his salvation, James and John got angry, and 
desired Christ to allow them to „command fire to come down 
from heaven and consume them;" — but the Lord hindered 
and rebuked them, sayifig ,,ye know not what manner of spirit 
ye are of; for the Son of man is not come to destroy life hni 
to save them.'-'' 

840. The authority of the Church accordingly consists 
more especially in keeping up order and discipline regarding 
the properly ordaining of the preaching and of all Church cere- 
monials; to her belongs also the punishment of the stiffnecked. 
That this is the case, has been partly proved already in the 
chapter which treats on the public ministry. Nevertheless wc 
intend to consider this subject more particularly in this place. 

a. It is left to the free option of the Church to ordain the 
different ceremonies of which the public worship is composed, — 
yet with certain conditions. The ceremonies with reference to 
the temple worship, under the Old testament dispensation, 
had been ordered in all its parts by God Himself. This is 
different in the- Church of the New testament; the ceremonial 
of her worship has been left to the option of the Church, — 
but with the understanding that „all things be done decently 
and in good order" and „unto edifying," 1. Cor. 14, 26. 40. 
What is said by Paul concerning the covering of the head 
(I. Cor. 11, 4. 5), concerning the order of teaching (1. Cor. 
14, 27), does not now bind us, as also the Church never has 
considered herself bound by it.- It is accordingly left to the 
pleasure of the Church to ordain every thing with regard to 
worship and ceremonial, but so to ordain them that they may 
tend to the edification of her members. 

841. /?. It is not in the power of a number of members, or 
of any individual member , to bring a change into that which has 
once been made a rule in the Church. If every thing is to be 
done in good order and in decency, then it cannot be permit - 
ted for every individual member of the Church to make alte- 
rations in that which the whole congregation has once agreed 
upon. If such would be permitted, it would be the cause of 
great disorder. Such an attempt is therefore to be looked 
upon as sin against the authority of the Church; for thereby 



264 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

one is desirous to alter that, which the Church has thought 
fit to institute by divine authority. 

842. y. Althotigh it is in the power of the Church to make 
alterations in the ceremonies of the worship, yet is it not in her 
pcmier to give way to the enemies of divine truths and to bring 
about any alteration in order to please them. The Apostle' 
considered circumcision as a free ceremony and caused Ti- 
mothy to be circumcised Acts. 16, 3; but as soon as the 
false Apostles put it down as a law for everjr Christian to be 
circumcised, Paul immediatly contended agamst it, Acts. 15, 

2. And he expressly says Gal. 5, 2: „ Behold I Paul say 
unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you 
nothing," which he prefaces with the admonition: „Stand fast 
in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not 
entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Thereby declaring 
it to be a reason for his contending against circumcision being 
made a necessity, that the liberty of the Christian might be 
preserved; as he declares. Gal. 2, 5: „To whom we gave place 
by subjection no, not for an hour; that the truth of the Gospel 
might continue with you."-- If some of the ceremonies of the 
church are attacked by her enemies then it is advisable for 
her not to change them, though something of the kind might have 
Ijeen previously intended. For if she gave way, she would 
have to alter every thing besides also. Thus it is quite left 
to the Christian liberty, to remove the images from the chur- 
ches , to abolisb exorcism by baptism etc. But if false bre- 
tren make this abolition a necessity, then the church is not 
any more at liberty to do so; she is obliged to retain them, 
that she might not come again into captivity and go void of 
her liberty. 

843. H. 7he different estates that constitute the Church. For 
our God is not a God of confusion , and He therefore desires 
every thing in His Church to be done „decently and in order," 
1 Cor. 14, 33. 40. He has instituted in His Church three 
different estates, to one of which every member of the Church 
must necessarily belong. They are : the teachers ; the politiea 
power of the land, and the lay members. To the first belong 
all Pastors and ministers; to the second the government and. 
its subjects, and to the third, masters, women, men- and maid- 
servants, parents and children etc. 

The first of these three estates, viz : that of ministry has 
been sufficiently treated of in the last chapter. That of the 
lay members, God instituted immediately after the fall. Gen. 

3. 17: „In sorrow shalt thou eat of it (the ground) all the 
days of thy life, thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto 
thee." — About this there has never been any controversy. 



Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 265 

The joolitical government has also been ordained by God; 
„by me kings reign, and princes decree justice,"' Wisd. 8, 15; 
Jhe powers that he are ordained of God," Rom. 13, 1. 

844. It might be slb^gA,. whether in Christ's Church and 
according to his will, there are to he worldly authorities'^ We 
reply : Yes ; for 

a. The authorities have heen instituted hy God, and have 
not heen aholished hy Christ and his Apostles. ' And we find also 
that_ the Lord Jesus had himself intercourse with men in au- 
thority; as, for instance, with the Centurion at Capernaum, 
Matth. 8, 5. ff.; with a nobleman, John. 4, 47. ff.; with king 
Herod, and with Pontius Pilate, Matth. 27, 11; Luk. 28, 2. 
8. — As did also the Apostles , for we read of their halving 
had intercourse with the Centurion Cornelius, Acts. 10. 17. ff.; 
with Sergius, ibid.* Chap. 13, 7; with Felix, Chap. 24, 10; 
king Agrippa, Chap. 26, 1. ff. ; none of whom had been ad- 
monished either by Christ or his Apostles to leave their worldly 
positions ; which would have been the case, if the latter had 
considered these offices to be inconsistent with Christianity. 

845. b. In describing the kingdom of Christ, authorities are 
expressly made mention of; Pslm. 2, 10, 11: „Be wise now 
therefore ye kings : be instructed ye judges of the earth, serve 
the Lord with fear," etc. ; Pslm. 24, 7 : „Lift up your heads, 
O ye gates : and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and 
the King of glory shall come in ;" Isa. 49, 23 : „Kings shall 
be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mother;" 
Chap. 60, 3 : „gentiles shall come in thy light, and Kings to the 
brightness of thy rising;" Pslm. 72, 10. 11: „the kings of 
Tarsish and of the isles shaE bring presents: the kings of 
Sheha and Sehu shall offer gifts," 

846. c. The Christian is hid to pray for the existing autho- 
rities, 1 Tim. 2, 1. 2: „I exhort therefore, that, first of all, 
supplications, prayers, intercessions, arid giving of thanks, be 
made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority; 
that We may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness 
and honesty." 

847. d. 2he Christian is hid to subject himself to the wordly 
authorities, Eom. 13, 1 : „Let every soul be subject unto higher 
authorities ;" v. 2 : „Whosoever therefore resisteth the pqwer, re- 
sisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist, shall re- 
ceive to themselves damnation; v. 4: ■„For he (the ruler) is 
the minister of God to thee for good, a revenger to execute wrath 
upon him that doeth evil;" v. 5 : „Wherefore ye must needs 
be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake ;" 
V. 7: „Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom 
tribute is due; cnstom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; 



266 Chap. XXIX. Of the church of Christ. 

honour to whom honour." Matth. 22, 21 the Lord Jesus 
commands „tb render unto Caesar the things which are Cae- 
sar's;" 1 Pet. 2, 13. 14: „ Submit yourselves every ordinance 
of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king as 
supreme, or unto governors" etc.; v. 17: „fear God, honour 
the Mng." 

848. I. The enemies the Church is to encounter on earth. 
The Church on earth is like the ship in which Christ sat, and 
that „was covered with the waves," Matth. 8, 24. The Churcli 
is surrounded by enemies on all sides, John. 15, 18. 19: ■,■,!/ 
the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated 
you; because ye are not of the world, hut I have chosen you 
out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." 

849. Amongst the false teachers and enemies of the 
Church the most conspicuous is the Antichrist. He is to be 
the most persevering enemy of the Lord Jesus. „Antichrist" 
is usually called every one, who opposes himself to the chri- 
stian faith, 1 John. 2, 18: ,.,Even now there are many Anti- 
christs." But more especially concerning one principal Anti- 
christ we have the prophesy 1 John. 4, 3: „This is th? spirit 
of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come;" and 
St. Paul says of him that he is „a man of sin, the Son of 
perdition," 2 Thess. 2, 3. 4. 

850. With regard to this Antichrist many questions might 
be started ; thus : whether he is now in the world ; whether 
he is to come from among the Jews; whether he is to dwell 
at Jerusalem, etc.; but this is not the place to enter upon 
these inquiries, and we propose to take notice but oi' the two 
following questions, viz: 

a. Whether in our days the Antichrist has come already, 
and; 

/3. if so, where he is to be met with. 

851. Now every one ought to know that the great Anti- 
christ referred to in the prophecy, is no other than the Eo- 
mish Pope. This we prove as follows : The Antichrist is to 
be recognised by different signs, as was also the case with 
Christ ; and if the different signs, which God has pointed out 
to us as the marks of the Antichrist, are to be found upon 
any one, that same must be the Antichrist. The following 
are the marks by which the Pope may be proved to be the 
Antichrist: His name, the spot where he is to be found; the 
time of his reign, his pride and insolence, and his works. 

852. a. The name by which the Antichrist and his kingdom 
is to be recognised is „Babylon;" Eev. 17, 5: „Upon the fore- 
head was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great." That 
this Babylon means no other spot than the city of Rome we 



Cha].. XXIX. Oi the Antichrist. 2§7 

shall prove subsequently. The Romish Church is therefore 
the spiritual Babylon. 

853. b. As to the place, where the Antichrist was to govern, 
we have pointed out to us: Babylon, Rev. 17, 5; „the sevm 
hills,"- Rev. 17, 9; „the seven heads are seven hills on which 
the women sitteth ;" that great dty which reigneth over the kings 
of the^ earth, Rev. 17, 18. These three significations belong to 
the city of Rome, for 

„Babylon"- has always been considered by the fathers of 
the Churcn to refer to Rome, and this tide is, moreover, vin- 
dicated on behalf of Rome, even by the Papists of our days; 
vide : Bellarminus lib. 2. de Rom. Pontif. 2 , and : Gretserus, 
defens. 2. contravers. Bellarmini lib. 2. cap. 2. 

„The seven hUls" do also refer to no other city than to 
Rome, for this city if, as is generally known, build on seven 
hills. And even the Papist themselves agree that this name 
is referring to Rorde. 

„The great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth," 
refers also to Rome ; for we know that , at that time, Rome 
had subjected all kings to its own authority, and that there 
was not then a town on earth, that could have ascribed to i 
such an universal power. 

854. If the partisans of the popish Church should objec 
to this, and say, that all this did only refer to heathen Rome 
in which at that time, the faith of Christ was dreadfully per 
secuted by the Emperors, — we answer: 

tf. that that part of the Apocalypse, from which our re 
ferences are taken, is referring to the time that was to succeei 
that of John and the heathen Emperors. 

/3. The facts spoken of more especially were prophesied 
to come to pass after the Roman empire had gone to ruin; 
2. Thess, 2, 3 : „that day shall not come, unless there be a fal- 
ling away first;" which state of things was typified in the 
Parable of the two beasts, Rev. 13. This had not come to 
pass at the time of the heathen Emperors. 

c. This empire was to retain a certain appearance of ho- 
liness, „J beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and 
he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake us a Dragon,'-'- 
Rev. 13, 11. Such an appearance of holiness however was 
not to be found during the reigns of the Roman Emperors. 
This prophesy, which referred to the Antichrist's governing 
at Rome must therefore have reference to a later peripd. 

d. Finally that this power was to be an ecclesiastical 
empire we shall prove immediatly. For 

855. The Antichrist was, fourthly, to be met with m 
God's temple, 2. Thess. 2, 4: „Who (the man of sin) opposeili 



268 Chap. XXIX. Of the Antichrist. 

and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is 
worshipped, so that he, as a God, sitteth in the temple of God, 
shewing himself that he is a God." That thereby the temple 
at Jerusulam is not intended, can be proved by the facts, that 
this temple was to be previously destroyed, Matth. 24, 2, and 
a third temple was not to be raised, Dan. 9, 27. On the 
contrary it means the Church of God, which is called a 
„temple," 1. Cor. 3, 16: „know ye not that ye are the temple 
or God?" 2. Cor. 6, 16: „ye are the temple of the living 
God." It was in such a temple that the Antichrist was to 
govern; and that this has actually been the case, is suificieht- 
fy known. 

856. c. The time in which this was to com^ about. Here 
we have to observe: 

a. At what time this reign of the Antichrist was to com- 
mence and to prosper. This can , of course , not be pointed 
out as to the year and the mounth. In the first instance, , it 
is described by John as a beast that had seven heads and 
ten horns, Eev. 13; which are, according to Daniel, ten kings, 
Daniel 7, 24: „The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten 
kings that shaU arise." — Secondly, we are also told in 
the same chapter of the book of Kevelation that it was to be 
sorely wounded, v. 3; after which the apostle saw another 
beast rising which had two horns like a lamb (two govern- 
ments, a spiritual and a worldly), but which spake as a Dra- 
gon.. Which proves that that same beast, the Antichrist, had 
then began to rise, and that it had already wounded the first 
beast (the Koman empire). Of this the Apostle speaks 
2. Thess. 2, 7: „for the mystery of iniquity doth already 
work: only he who- now letteth will let, until he be taken away."- 

857. |3. At what time this power was to decline and cease. 
This we are plainly told by St. Paul, 2. Thess. 2, 8: „Then 
(when he who now letteth the mystery of iniquity, namely 
the power of the Komish .Church , will take the same away) 
shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume 
with the Spirit ■ of his mouth , and shall destroy him with the 
brightness of his coming."- Accordingly he is to be revealed 
and deadly wounded by the Word. For this is , as it were 
God's mouth. And the Antichrist shall be taken away as 
soon as the Son of Man comes to judge the world, — the 
reasons for which we shall learn presently. 

858. d. By the power, pomp and arrogance which the 
Antichrist has assumed. This circumstance is referred to 
Kevel. 13, 14, when the beast is sending forth his commands 
to all those who live on earth ; when it is brought about that 
„no man might buy or sell save he that had a mark or the 



Chap. XXTX. Of the Antichrist. 269 

name of the beast," Rev. 13, 17; — when the woman is said 
to be „arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with 
gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in 
her hand" etc., Eevel. 17, 4. — But more especially and 
pointedly the insolence of Antichrist is described by St. Paul, 
2. Thess. 2, 4 : „ Who (the man of sin) opposeth and exalteth 
himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so 
that he as a God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself 
that he is a God."- — li is now our duty to point out that this 
has really_ reference to the romish popes. 

859. a. Their great and immense pomp is known to every 
body, and has been mourned over and complained of for many 
centuries. 

/S. They have exalted themselves above all that is called 
God, yea even above the living God, the creator of heaven 
and earth, in that they have not submitted themselves to his 
word, nor shewn any willingness to have their doctrine 
examined and proved by it. Also in that they main- 
tained the Supper of the Lord to be a sacrifice, and in that 
they have withdrawn the cup from the laity, which yet the 
Lord Jesus commanded to be given to them. In this way 
they have placed their wiU and ordinances above those of the 
living God. — Otherwise the authorities are also called God's, 
Ps. 82, 1. These also the popes have set themselves above, 
for they have taken it upon them to set some roman (i. e. 
german) emperors upon the throne, and take that crown from 
others. Not to speak of other arrogances and unbecoming 
actions of which they made themselves guilty, and the un- 
worthy treatment they gave to some of these emperors. Nor 
were other authorities at liberty to do any thmg save that 
which was approved by, and in the interest of, the popes. 
Thus they have set themselves above all that is called God; 
and accordingly have made themselves a God, in that they 
have exalted themselves above God. 

860. y They have exalted themselves above all that is 
called worship, i. e. above all churches on earth. They have 
also assumed the title of Christ's vice-gerent, the bridegroom, 
head and first bishop of the Church , and have permitted no- 
body to have any opinion of his own, — although they have led 
already many tnousand souls to eternal destruction. — There 
is no end of their ostentation, — and if the world ever has 
been groaning under the heavy hand of crael and shameful 
arrogance, it was certainly by that of the popes. 

861. e. The works and occupations of Antichrist; of these 
we intend to consider especially four: 

«. miracles. They are said, in the last times, to be 



270 Chap. XXIX. Of the Antichrist. 

marks of the coming Antichrist, 2. Thess. 2, 9: „ Whose 
coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and 
signs and lying wonders;"- Eev. 13, 13: „And he (the man of 
sin) doth great wonders." 

The Popes are performing great miracles, at least ac- 
cording to the pompous assertions of their partisans. But 
that they are lying wonders, we prove: 

1. from the fact, that they cannot be proved to be divine 
miracles ; 

2. because we do not find in the word of God any rules 
whereby to prove whether these wonders be not lying won- 
ders; and 

3. because we are expressly told, that those wonders 
which are to be performed in the last days, are to be lying 
wonders and the work of Satan. 

862. /?. The forbidding of meats; 1. Timot. 4, Iff.: „The 
Spirit speaketh expressly , that in the latter times some 
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spi- 
rits and doctrines of devils commanding to abstain 

from meats, which Gpd hath created to he received with thanks- 
giving." — The Popes have taken it upon them, to forbid men, 
during lent, to eat certain meats which have been created 
by God for our use. Yea even to some spiritual orders they 
have prohibited their use for all their lives, — professedly in 
order thereby to induce them to a greater sanctitjr. Adding 
that, whosoever ventured to trespass their laAv and take any 
of these meats (which have yet been created by God to be 
eaten with thanksgiving!), was to be excluded from the grace 
of God, and excommunicated by the Popes. 

863. y. The forbidding to marry. This St. Paul states, 
together with the former sign, in the passage already referred 
to, saying: „In the latter times some shall depart from the 
faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of 
devils, forbidding to marry." And Daniel prophesies that the 
Antichrist was not to regard the desire of women, Chap. 11, 
37. This cannot be understood to refer to a general abolition 
of marriage, but only for certain classes of men. 

Now the Popes have forbidden all those to get married, 
who have anything to do with the public offices of the church, 
or who are members of a spiritual order. ' They have done 
so, in order, as they say, to promote greater godliness among 
men, - but in reality they have thereby given rise to the 
perpetration of numberless sins and vices, infanticide etc., of 
which much has been complained already. 

864. S. The bartering^ which have always been allowed to he 
carried on in the church. The Apostle complains of that 



Chap. XXIX. Of the Antichrist. 271 

sort of people who wish godliness to be acquired like any 
other gain. Thereby doubtless having in mind that sort of 
trade that was to be carried on in the church under the cloak 
of godliness. In Revel. 18, 3 flF. we find this babylonian em- 
pire of the Antichrist described ?s a rich mercantile town, in 
Avhich much trade and many rich merchants are to be met 
with. This is explained Daniel 11, 43: „He shall have power 
over the treasures of gold and of silver" etc. , and 2. Pet. 2, 
1 fF. : „There were false prophets among the people , even as 
there shall be false teachers among you . . and through co- 
vetousness shall with feigned words make merchandise of you." 
This has been fulfilled by the popes to the utmost of their 
power. What a sum of money have they not extorted for 
masses, for prayer^ for the living and the dead, and the 
latter's release from purgatory? Or by that very profitable 
trade with indulgences', which on the occasion of every 
jubilee, were sold all over Christendoom ? Who knows the 
sum the casus reservati, or the pardon for such sins, the re- 
mission of which the popes have retained to themselves, have 
thrown into their pockets? For that in that case they have 
not at ^\l been liberal, may be proved by the taaa poenitentiaria, 
in which the prices are stated which are to be paid for the re- 
mission of every sin ! Not to speak of the selling of bishop- 
ricks and other preferrences , — so that even godly people 
among the papists themselves complained, and said, that in 
their church every thing was to bought for money: king- 
doms, church offices, prayers, services , heaven and hell, God 
and the devil, — every thing I 

865. Thus we have stated the principal characteristics of 
the Antichrist, from which we are able to conclude that popery 
is the very kingdom of the Antichrist. For whoever, in these 
last days of the church, is exalting himself above God and 
all that is God; — and allowes himself to be honoured as a 
God, — having his seat at Rome, — is boasting with lying 
wonders, and forbidding meats and marriage, — and carrying on 
bargaining with the things of God, the same must be the 
real and great Antichrist. That all these things are done by 
the popes we have just now shewn,_ and we therefore conclude 
popery to be the true and real Antichrist. 



272 



Chapter XXX. 

Although, as we have shewn, God is carrying out His purposes of saving 
His people in His Church, yet is this Salvation but commenced and imper- 
fect whilst on earth, — and the believers come to a full enjoyment of their 
Salvation only aftfer their souls have been separated from their bodies by 
means of death, to remain in this state of separation untQ soul and body 
are united again for the day of judgment, that henceforth the whole 
man might come to the enjoyment of eternal, unspeakable bliss. 



866. We have now to speak of the fourth and last state of 
man which is: 

that of consummate happiness. 
In this state God's merciful purposes concerning men 
are completed; by which completion our faith also ceases, for 
we are told that the end of our faith is the salvation of our 
souls, 1. Pet. 1, 9. Concerning this we have to consider. 

867. A.. What it is which in this state of bliss, the ungod- 
ly have in common with the believer ? — When men are about 
to depart from this life, there are four things that befal the 
good alike with the evil among them, viz : 

I. The soul is separated from the body; 
n. This separation lasts up to the judgement day; after 
which , 

III. The body is raised again and united with the soul; 

IV. After this union has taken place, judgement is pronoun- 

ced as to the place, where this united body is to dwell 
for ever. 

868. I. Accordingly the first thing which we have to 
consider, is death. This is sufficiently known among men; 
nevertheless we have to attend to the following inquiries : 

a. what is death? It is not a state of things, whereby 
the body and the soul are thoroughly annihilated , as if never 
to exist again. Carnally minded men, have, it is true, main- 
tained some such views of annihilation ; views which we find 
expression given toWisd. 2, 1: „Our life is short and tedious, 
and in the death of a man there is no remedy. The breath of 
our nostrils is as a smoke and a little spa/rh in the moving of 
our heart, which being extinguished, our body shall be turned 
into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish like a soft air. And after 



Chap. XXX. Of the immortality of the soul. 273 

our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no 
man cometh again." 

But this view is entirely inconsistent with the doctrine of 
the immortality of the soul , which remains to be proved bv 
the following. 

869. Some say that by death the soul is entirely annihi- 
lated, and is brought again into existence on the day of 
judgement. This cannot be; for, in the first place, we have 
no mtimation to this end in scripture; nor can we deduce it 
from nature, or from any man's experience. — In the second 
place, scripture expressly teaches us, that the soul still conti- 
nues to exist after the death of the body, 1. Sam. 25, 29: 
„A man is risen to pursue thee , and seek thy soul: but tlte 
soul of my Lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the 
Lord thy God; Wisd. 3, 1: „The souls of the righteous are 
in the Aand of God, and there shall no torment touch them;" 
Matth. 10, 28: „Fear not them which kill the body, but are 
not able to Mil the soul."" The Lord Jesus testifies Matth. 8, 11, 
that the Patriarchs • are alive after their death. — In the third 
place, the immortality of the soul is shewn in the Parable of 
Dives and Lazarus, of whom it said that they have been alive 
after their death, Luk. 16, 22. 23. 24. — In the fourth place, 
there are no instances wanted of certain souls having been 
shewn to be alive after the death of the body; thus for in- 
stance, the Lord Jesus himself recommendied his soul into the 
hands of his Father, Luk. 23, 46; or in case of the male- 
factor, whom the Lord gave the promise: „to day shalt thou 
be with me in paradise," Luk. 23, 43; as also we read of 
those , whose souls St. John heard crying vengeance 
against their , persecutors, Rev. 6, 9, and of those, whom 
Christ preached in prison, 1. Pet. 3, 19; — Lastly, \ve read 
of the wishes and hopes of holy men, as follows: Stephen 
prays „Lord Jesus receive my spirit," Acts. 7, 58; and Paul 
writes that he has „a desire to depart, and to be with Christ," 
Phil. 1, 23; — All this could not take place, if the souls of 
the dead were annihilated, to be brought again into existence 
for the last judgement. 

870. On the contrary, death is nothing but a separatmg 
of the soul from the body. The soul on departing from the body, 
ceases to animate the latter, and enters into a state diflferent 
to that it had been in formerly, in which state it remains, 
until it is reunited to the body. 

871. b. The cause of death. It is not necessary to enlarge 
on this; for we have proved already, that death did not exist 
previous to the fall, but has been brought about by sin; death 
Is, as the Apostle writes „the wages of sin," Eom. 6, 23. 

IS 



274 Chap. XXX. Of the immortnlity of the soul. 

872. c. The universal reign of death, Death exercises its 
power over the good and tne evil. This we are taught by 
our every days experience, and no man will deny, „that the 
covenant from the beginning is : Thou shall die ike decAli," Eccl. 
(Sirach), 14, 17. 

873. d. Its arrival-^ by the one sooner, by the other later; 
the one dies in his youth, the other in old age. This diffe- 
rence and irregularity might be considered by many as 
being against nature. But we ought to remember that. God 
has put his set time to every individual, which none ever can 
prolong, Job. 14, 5 : ,,His (man's) days are determined. Hie num- 
ber of his month are with thee, thou hast appointed his hounds 
thai he cannot pass.''' 

874. In this respect God has ordained everything accor- 
ding to His own will and counsel. But yet in determining 
this point, God has nevertheless taken in consideration the 
behaviour of men. Thus He promises to the godly a long 
life, as a reward of their piety, Exod. 20, 12: „Honour thy fa- 
ther and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the 
land wbich the Lord thy God giveth thee;" Pslm. 128, 6: 
„The Lord shall bless thee, and thou shalt see the good of 
Jerusalem all the days of thy life ; yea thou shalt see thy chil- 
dren's children;" Pslm. 91. 16: „With long. Kfe will I satisfy 
him." 

875. But Hhe life thus predetermined may also be shorte- 
ned; this is done either by God himself, or by man. 

In doing so, God has two different reasons. Thus, for 
instance, in His mercy He hastens away a godly man from 
the midst of this evil world, Wisd. 4, 10. 11: „He pleased 
God, and was beloved of him : so that living among sinners 
he was translated; yea speedily was he taken away, lest that 
wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile 
his soul." 

God again is shorteuing the life of men, in consequence 
of His severe indignation sigainst wickedness. Thus Absalon, 
because of his being an undutifid son, was almost impercep- 
tibly cut of from life, 2 Sam. 18, 14. — „Er, Judah^s first- 
born, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord 
slew him," Genes. 38, 7. In the same way it went with othei; 
evildoers, Pslm. 55, 24: „bloody and deceitfiil men shall not 
live out half their days." 

Man again shortens his life either by mortally wounding 
his body, in consequence of which he is prevented to live any 
longer, as was the case with Saul, 1 Sam. 31, 4; —r or by 
destroying bis nature in other ways, Eccl. Sirach 37, 30. 31. 
„Excess of meats bringeth sickness, and surfeiting will turn 



Chap. XXX. Of the immortality of the soul. 275 

unto choler. By surfeiting have many perished; but he that 
taketh heed prolongeth his life." 

876. This would look at the first sight, as if the decrees 
of God were changeable. But this is not implied thereby. 
For though He has put for every man the limits of his liie 
from all eternity, yet has He not done so merely from His 
own counsel and pleasure, but in determining this, He has been 
considering also man's behaviour, and thereby found, that 
some would subsequently put 'an end to their lives, whilst 
others by their evil deeds, would draw upon them His divine 
displeasure. And according to this He has determined the 
end of these different individuals to come about much sooner, 
as He would have done, if He had followed only His own 
will. Thus the death of King of Hezekiah was determined 
on, but God listened to his prayer and granted him other 15 
years to live, 2 Kings. 20. 6. And in the same way the 
lives of Absalon, Achan and other evildoers would have pro- 
bably been longer as they were, had their evil deeds and pur- 
poses not induced God to shorten them. 

877. e. The different modes .of death. These are many, of 
which we shall mention but three : 

Man is dying a natural death, when in the course of na- 
ture his strength Tbegins to fail, and from mere exhaustion he 
dies at the usual age of 70 or 80 years. 

He is dying a half natural death, when in the midst of 
the efljbyment of life he is carried' awny by illness, or other 
natiral causes. 

Again he is dying an unnatural or violent death, when 
althougn in the usual course of nature he might have been li- 
ving yet for a long space of time, he is berieved of his life by wea- 
pon, poisons etc., and other unnatural and violent means. — 
And with respect to this, we meet with the following questions : 

878. 1. How is it that some are dying a natural death, 
and again others' an unnatural death. Here again we have to 
consider man's behaviour. 

Thus it happened unto Saul and Judas, and still happens 
to those who do evil, and thereby draw dawn punishment 
upon them. To this also belongs a careless and precipitate 
exposing to dangers ; carelessness in the use of meats, medi- 
cines, and innumerable other causes. — And again we have 
to look upon God^s judgement, which punishes sins with a 
fearfal death. Thus for instance , in the case of Absalon, 2 
Sam. 18, 14; Herod. Acts. 12, 23; Antioch, 2 Maccab. 9, 9. 
Many are punished in the same way as they have sinned, as 
for instance, Agag, 1 Sam. 15, 33; Ahab. 1 Kings. 21, 19; 

18* 



276 Chap. XXX. Of the immortaHfy of the soul. 

22, 38 ; Joram, 2 Kings. 9, 25. 26 ; and Jezebel, 1 Kings. 
21, 23; 2 Kings. 9, 36. 

879. 2. Wheiher those who are dying of a violent death (as 
is also the case with criminals who have been condemned to 
die by the proper authorities), are for ever cast away from the 
grace of God, so that they never can repent and come to salva- 
tion. We answer, no ! lor : 

ci. As we do not find it anywhere stated that God' has 
rejected them, we are not entitled to maintain such doc- 
trines; especially since, God's secret counsels have not been 
revealed unto us. 

p. God has expressly decliired to casjt away from his 
grace no repenting sinner that comes to Him, John. 6, 37 : 
„Him that cometh to me 1 will in no wise cast out;" Matth. 
11, 28: „Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy la- 
den" etc.; Ezek. 18, 31. 32: „Why will ye die O house of 
Israel ? for I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, 
saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves and live.". 

y. We have in the Bible a clear instance of God's ac- 
cepting a sinner of this description, as soon as he had repen- 
ted. This was the malefactor, who was crucified ^^ith the 
Lord Jesus, and who, when upon the cross, confessed his sins, 
and that he had deserved such a punishment, Luk. 23, 43. 
And on taking his refuge to Christ, he is answered by the 
Lord: „to day shalt thou be with me in paradise." 

880. The state the soul is in, after having been separated 
from the body, is common to all. Concerning this we have to 
consider six different points : 

I. The immortality of the soul, or its existence after this 
life; this can be proved by the fact: 

cj. that it is frequently testified in scripture, and that if 
the soul was not immortal the whole doctrine taught by the 
Bible would fall to the ground. 

(3. Nature and man's conscience testify the immor- 
tality of the soul; for thej^ convince him, that afler this 
life, there is a judgement which is to reward every one accor- 
ding to his deserts. And in this opinion he is supported by 
St. Paul, who writes Rom. 2, 15, 16; „Which (the Gentiles) 
shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their con- 
science also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean- 
while accusing, or else excusing one another; in the day when 
God shall judge the secrets of men." And consequently the 
heathen have always maintained the principle of the immorta- 
lity of the soul, and always talked something about a heaven 
and a hell, in which every one was to receive according to 
his deeds. 



Chap. XXX. Of the immortality of the soul. 277 

y. Divine justice makes it necessary for the soul to be 
immortal; for the righteous judge of the world cannot leave 
the godly without their reward, and the ungodly unpunished, 
2 Thess. 1, 6. 7 : „/< is a righUous thing with God to recom- 
pense tribulation to them that trouble ymi; and to you who are 
troubled rest with us.'' But this could not be carried into effect 
if, afte^ death, body and soul did perish. Besides we find 
also that the godly whilst upon earth, are frequently in tribu- 
lation, whilst the evildoers are permitted to enjoy their lives, 
in peace; that „there be just men unto whom it happeneth ac- 
cording to the .work of the wicked; again there be wicked men, 
to whom it hajppeneth according to the work of the righteous," 
Eccl. 8, 14, And if God is to bring about an equity in this 
respect, then there must necessarily be another life. 

881. TL. The place, in which the souls dwell after having 
been separated from the body. They are not all to dwell in 
one place; for there is a difference between them; there is 
the number of the believers, and that of the unbelievers, in 
one of which they must have been in when on earth; 

882. Of the souls of the just and the faithful, scripture 
informs us, that they lire taken into the house of the Father, 
John. 14. 2; into „an house not made with liands, eternal in 
the heavens," 2 Cor. 5. 1 ; into an „house which is from hea- 
ven," V. 2; into „the heavenly Jerusalem," Heb. 12, 22; into 
God's hand, Wisd. 3, 1; into „Abraham's bosom," Luk. 16, 
22; into „paradise," Luk. 23, 43; into the heaven, or „the 
third heaven," 2 Cor. 12, 2. 4. 

883. It might be asked with re'erence to this subject, 
whether the souls of the redeemed are retained for final jud- 
gement in a certain locality within this created world, or with- 
out the same. This question is easily replied to ;_^ since we 
do not find any information on this subject in scripture, we would 
in vain endavour to unravel this mystery. For it is much 
better for us altogether to remain in ignorance with reference 
to matters, about which there has nothing been revealed to 
us, — r than to make suppositions which we have no means of 
establishing. 

884. Of the unbelievers we are told that, after their death 
tliey come into „torments," Xivik. 16, 23; into „hell," Kev. 1, 
18; into „darkness," 2. Pet. 2, 17; into „darkness," in which 
„there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," Matth. 22, 13; 
„into everlasting fire," Matth. 25, 41; „in(;o hell fire," Mark. 
9, 47; into ,,the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone," 
Rev. 21, 8. — Some there are , who have given themselves 
great concern as to where this hell is placed. This is an un- 



278 Chap. XXX. Of the state of the soul after death. 

profitable subject, since we do not find anything about it in 
scripture; and we ought much rather to strive to make sure 
that, wherever this hell may have been placed, we on our 
part might be kept from being found fit to inhabit it. ^ 

885. The Popish Church has found it convenient to fable 
something of the existence of three other hells besides that 
mentioned already; viz: one, in which the souls of those 
children are said to be retained, which have died previous to 
receiving baptism ; one in which the souls of those holy fa- 
thers reside, who have died before the resurrection of Christ 
had been accomplished, and lastly the purgatory. 

Of those souls pointed out as being retained in the tv\o 
firstmentioned dwelhngs, the papists teach, that, though they 
are not suffering any torments, they ^ are yet not permitted to 
come before the presence of the Lord. But of this assertion 
nothing is to be found in scripture. On the contrary, we are 
informed by the latter, that every man either dies in the sa- 
ving faith of the Gospel, and is carried into Abraham's bosom, 
Luk. 16, 25; — or he dies in unbeliefe, and is thereby for 
ever condemned, Mark. 15, 16. And we know with certainty, 
that those who, previous to Christ's coming, have died in faith, 
have come to the immediate enjoyment of their bliss, as is 
evident from the examples of Moses and EUjah, Matth. 17, 3. 
— Which proves this Popish doctrine to be erroneous. 

886. Of purgatory that Church maintains the following 
doctrine. There are some, they say, who though they have 
died in the faith, have yet not done penance for every sin 
which they had committed during their lifetime; such are 
bound, after their death, to be purified by a fire which is as 
powerful as hellfire, and in which they are tormented until 
every sin is washed away, and they are made fit for eternal 
salvation. Such a state of things cannot only not be establish- 
ed from scripture, but its existence can be disproved from the 
word of God, as follows: 

887. 1. It is this doctrine opposed to the priestly office of 
the Lord Jesus. For, according to scripture, remission of sin 
is only through Christ, Acts. 4, 12; 1. John. 1, 7 : „the blood 
of Jesus Christ cleameth us from all sins." Through Christ 
we have perfect remission of sin and punishment, Isai. 53, 
6: „The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with 
his stripes we are healed;" through Christ we are freed from 
every apprehension with reference to the judgement of God, 
Rom. 8, 1 : „ There is no condemnation to them, which are in 
Christ Jesus." All believers are in Christ , Ephes. 3, 17 : 
,, Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." — Which proves, 



Chap. XXX. Of the state of the soul after death. 279 

that after his departing from this life, the believer cannot be 
said to be visited by the judgement of God. 

888. 2. It is contrary to the hajmy state the believers are 
declared to be in after their death; Rom. 6, 7: „Hc that is 
dead (in Christ) is freed from sin;" Wisd. 3» 1: „The souls 
of the righteous are in the hand of God , and there shall no 
torment touch them;" Eev. 14, 13: „Bles8ed are the dead 
which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea saith the Spirit, 
that they may rest fi-om their labours; and their works do 
follow them."- — 

It is evident that these statements with regard to the 
state of the souls of the redeemed, are not consistent with the 
doctrine of purgatory. 

889. 3. Even those who come to eternal salvation, being re- 
deemed without having done penance for their sins, need not go 
into any sort of purgatory or the like. Thus we read that La- 
zarus, immediately after his death, was carried by the Angels 
into Abraham's bosom, Luk. 16, 22; iind that the Lord Jesus 
gave to the malefactor the promise: „To day shalt thou be 
with me in paradise," Luk. 23, 43. And it might be asked, 
in what way were all those to do penance, of whom we read 
that in the last day they should be caught up alive? — And 
if the latter mentioned are riot required to pass through this 
process, why should it be requisite for others? 

890. 4. It is contrary to the inainner in which ^ according 
to scripture, we are said to be saved, viz : not by means of our 
own works, but by faith in Christ; John. 3, 18: „He that 
believeth on him (the Son), is not condemned;" Eom. 3, 24: 
„We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption 
that is in Christ Jesus;" v. 28: „We conclude that a man is 
justified by faith without the deeds of the law." — Accor- 
dingly, if the believer is to be saved only by faith, and not 
by nis own works or any other means, it is evident , that no 
purgatory is necessary for cleansing him from his sins. 

891. c. The different apparitions etc., with which the 
Souls of the dead are said to have frequently favoured some 
living mortal, have not only no foundation in scripture, but are 
also contrary to scripture. They may be contradicted b:^ the 
following: St. Paul has given us a description of Satan 
(2. Cor. 11, 14); there is therefore great danger that Satan 
might be in some way or other concerned in the appari- 
tions spoken of above. In scripture we have no instance of 
it given us, much less are we told to inquire anythmg of 
these spirits. And the news which these spirit in general 
brinfr, very much testify that the whole is evil, and these 
things have done a great deal to aid the coming in of the 



280 Chap. XXX. Of the state of the soul after death. 

Antichrist. Remember, Lazarus was not to be sent again to 
the world (as he wished it), in order to warn the rich man's 
brothers, Luk. 16, 17. We are also forbidden in such cases 
to listen to them, Isai. 8, 19: „should not a people seek unto 
their God? for the living to the dead." There should be none 
to be found in Israel who was a consultor of the dead, Deut. 
18, 11. 

892. d. How much the souls of the dead know about things 
from without them. The soul on being separated from the 
body, undoubtedly gets a clearer insight in every thing; which 
is the case more especially with the souls of the saints after 
their having been freed from that body of sin. But in spite 
of this, we are not entitled to ascribe to these souls the at- 
tribute of Omniscience. This is a property, to which no crea- 
ture has a right to lay claim, 1.' Kings. 8, 39: „For thou, 
even thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men." 
It is 'therefore erroneous to imagine that the saints in heaven 
have a knowledge of every thing that concerns man, and that 
they are able to hear man's prayers. 

893. For no man is able to discern the things of God as 
they pass within His holy mind. Nor have we any informa- 
tion to the end that the saints know every thing concerning man; 
on the contrary such a notion is disproved, Isai. 63, 16: 
„Doubtless thou art our father though Abraham be ignorant of 
us." — In general it is said of the dead that „iAey know not 
anything;" and „his (the dead man's) sons come, to honour, and 
he knoweth is not, and they are brought law, but he percetveth 
it not of them," Job. 14, 21. 

894. e. The occupation of the' departed souls; concerning 
this we have to inquire, 

Whether they he occupied at all? We answer in the 
affirmative, for we learn from scripture, that the elect are con- 
tinually engaged in glorifying God, as is shewn in the figure 
of the twenty four elders, Rev. 4, 18; 5, 18 ff. They call 
down vengeance upon their adversaries, Rev. 6, 9. 10: „I saw 
under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word 
of God, and for the testimony which they held; and they 
cried with a loud voice, saying: how long, "O Lord, holy anJl 
true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that 
dwell on earth?" ~ And knowing the many trials a believer 
has to endure upon earth, the souls of the saints also make 
intercession for them. Rev. 5,8: „The twenty four elders fell 
down before the Lamb, having everj^ one of them harps and 
golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the 
saints." 

895. A second question is, whether the souls of the depar- 



Chap. XXX. Of the state of the soul afier death. 281 

ted saints are making especial intercession for those, who address 
themselves to them in their distress. It is to be supposed, that 
the departed saints are making intercession for the church 
and her sufferings. For the widsedness of the world and the 
devil are well known to them, since they have experienced them 
themselves; for which reason thejr take also a certain interest 
in those christians who are still engaged in this warfare. 
Still there is but one such case mentioned in scripture, viz : 
that of Judas Maccabaeus who in a vision, saw the highpriest 
Onias and the prophet Jeremiah (which both were then dead) 
making prayers for the whole nation of Israel, 2 Maccab. 15, 
12. 14. But that all saints are doing so, — or that they are 
doing so for those who turn to them in their distresses, is 
quite uncertain. From scripture we are not able to learn any- 
thing about it, nor from the report of any one who retur- 
ned from the grave to tell us all about it, — nor is such done 
Luk.^ 16, 27. Whosoever therefore is resting his hope upon 
this intercession, is sure to deceive himself, is taking the sna- 
dow for the substance and will find no rest for his soul. 

896. The souls of the condemned also have their occupa- 
tion, but it is one of a different and painful nature. They are 
said to be groaning for anguish arid spirit, Wisd. 5, 3. ff. : 
„When they see it they shall be troubled with terrible fear, 
and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so 
f^r beyond all that they looked for" etc. — They are said to 
be mourning over their pains, and the unsupportable wrath of 
Qod, Rev. 6, 16. 17: „They said to the mountains and rocks, 
fall on us , and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on 
the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great 
day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" — 
They blaspheme the Majesty on high. Rev. 16, 10. 11 : „They 
gnawed tbeir tongues for' pain, and blasphemed the God of 
heaven because of their pains and sores." 

897. f. Some souls are in the state of Salvation, and others 
not. The last judgement has , as we kno^^•, not yet come to 
pass; and accordingly some are of opinion, that the souls 
of the dead have not yet entered either oi the abovementioned 
two estates ; maintaining that all the while the souls of the 
redeemed are looking forward with delight to being brought 
into the full enjoyment of salvation by the last judgement, — 
wbilst the souls of the evildoers are awaiting with terror the 
judgement to be pronounced upon them. But inquires of this 
nature are of little importance, It seems to be more con- 
formable to scripture that, afier being separated from the 
body, the souls of the just come to salvation, and those of 
the damned to condemnation. This seems to be clearly ex- 



282 Chap. XXX. Of the resurrection of the dead. 

pressed by the Lord Jesus himself, Luk. 16, 22. 23, and can 
also be established by other testemonies from scripture, John. 
5, 24 : „He that heareth my word, etc. hath everlasting life, 
and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death 
unto life;'-' Rev. 14, 13: „ble88ed are the dead which die in 
the Ijord from henceforth." To which also may be added the 
example of the malefactor, whom the Lord Jesus promised 
that he was to be with him in paradise on that very day. — 
It is of no importance that the final judgement has not yet 
been held, for those who do not believe, are condemned alrea- 
dy, John. 3, 18; and in this judgement not only the soul, 
but also the body is to be judged. This suspense of a look- 
ing forward for a coming judgment, would fill the hearts of 
many with unspeakable pain. — ' But one thing we know to 
remain true and established, and that is : „if the tree fall to- 
ward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the 
tree falleth there it shall be," Eccl. 11, 3. 

898. III. Again it is common to all men, that they rise 
from their graves, or the resurrection from the dead. Concer- 
ning this we have to consider: 

1. Whether the dead really do rise, and whereby this is 
to be known? Unreasonable animals, after having once died, 
do not return again to life; but man is superior to the latter 
in that he is rising from the grave, to have bis body and soul 
united again , thereby constituting again an entire individual, 
as has been the case previous to his death. But this it is 
not easy to believe for a carnal mind, which if it does not deny 
this truth with words, is yet doing so in his works. Thus for 
instance understood Alexander and Hymenaeus the resurrec- 
tion of the dead only in a spiritual sense, 2 Tim. 2, 18. But 
that the body is to rise ,again, can be proved: 

899. From scripture, which teaches, and frequently refers to 
the doctrine of the resurrection of the body; Job. 19, 25. 26: 
„1 know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand on 
the latter day upon earth : arid though after my shin, worms 
destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall 1 see God;" Psl. 34, 
21 r „He (the Lord) keepeth all his (the righteous} bones: not 
one of them is broken;" Isa. 25, 7. 8: „He (the Lord) will 
destroy in this mountain the lace of the covering cast over 
all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations; he will 
swallow up death in victory ;" ibid. Chap. 26, 19: „ Thy dead 
men shall liue , together with my dead body shall they arise. 
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as 
the dew of , herbs, and the eeo'th shall cast out the dead." Dan. 
12, 2 : „Many of them- that sleep in the dust of the earth shall 
aioake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting 



Chap. XXX. Of the resurrection of the dead. 283 

contempt;" Hos. 6, 2: „ Alter two days will he revive us, in 
the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his 
sight ;» Mace. 7, 9 : .„tbe Kings of the world shall raise us 
up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting life." John. 
5, 28. 29: „The hour is cording, in the which all Uiai are in 
the grave shall hear his (the Son's) voice, and shall come forth" 
etc. ; ibid. Chap. 6. 40 : „Thi8 is the will of him that sent 
me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, 
may have everlasting life : and / ivill raise him up at the last 
day." This subject has also been spoken of bv St.' Paul, 1 
Cor. 15, 10, ff. ' 

900. The Bible also teaches us the resurrection by means 
of certain very beautiful figures. Thus Ezekiel (37, 1 ff.) s \w 
in a vision a „vjjjey which was full of bones," and which 
on the Holy Ghost's breathing on them, „the sinews and the 
flesh came upon them and the skin covered them above;" cf. 
John. 12, 24 ff.; 1. Cor. 15, 37. 38. 43. And like as the 
seed is put into the ground and witheres to rise again in 
beauty, — so man is is sown in dishonour, \and rises again 
in honour etc.; cf. also the vision. Rev. 20, 13: „The sea 
gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell deli- 
vered up the dead which were in them." 

901. The Bible also tells us of some instances of the 
dead having been brought to life again. Thus the son of the 
widow at Zarpath was Raised again by Elijah, 1. Kings. 17, 
22; the son of the Shunamite by Elisha, 2. Kings. 4, 35; cf. 
also 2. Kings. 13, 21. — Similar instances are to be found 
in the New testament; as for instance the Lord's raising up 
the daughter of Jairi, Matth. 9, 25 ; and the son of the widow 
at Nain, Luk. 7, 15; Lazarus, John. 11, 44; again Peter's 
miraculously raising Tabitha, 9, 40; and Paul's raising Euty- 
chus, Acts. 20, 10. 12. Amongst those who have risen agam 
after their death are also to be counted Enoch and Elias, 
whom God has taken up aUve, Gen. 5, 24; 2. Kings. 2, 11; 
as also the saints that have risen with Christ, Matth. 27, 52. 
53. All which is told us to the end that we might believe 
the resurrection to be a divine doctrine. But it is more espe- 
cially from the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, that the doctrine 
of our resurrection is sufficiently established, 1 Cor. 15, 22 ff. 

902. The resurrection can also be proved by necessary 
deductions. As for instance God declares Himseli to be the 
God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob, Exod. 3, 6. To 
which the Lord Jesus adds „6od is not the God oj the dead 
but of the living," drawing from this the conclusion, that the 
patriarchs were to rise again, Matth. 22, 32. — Again, if we 
consider the many promises which God has given unto man, 



284 Chap. XXX. Of the resurrection of the dead. 

we must conclude that there must "be a life in which these 
promises are to be carried into effect. 

903. But more especially the resurrection may be jiroved 
from the nature of man. For he is created in such a manner, 
that his conscience tells him of a reward that is to be given 
to the good and the evil, in consequence of which even many 
of the learned heathens have been of opinion that there must 
be a resurrection after death. 

904. 2. Which creatures are destined to partake of the re- 
surrection. ' In this respect we have to inquire : 

Whether unreasonable beings aire also to rise again. Of 
this we find nothing in scripture; and we have therefore no 
right to exercise our own fancies on this head. That they 
do not rise again, can be proved fi-om the fact, that in the 
whole range of scripture no other, but the resurrection of man 
is taken notice of. Besides we know that in the last day 
every creature, with the exception of man, is to perish. 

905. Whether monsters, and such like axe to rise again. - 
Answer: as long as they are to be looked upon as human 
beings, they are not to be considered as being excluded from 
the resurrection; but if it should happen that in shape, fea- 
ture etc., such an unfortunate creature cannot be considered as 
a human being, — then we leave it in the hand of God to do 
as He pleases, since nothing has been revealed to about it in 
scripture. 

906. Whether little children, that have died after their having 
been conceived in the mother's womb, or immediately after their 
birth, previous to baptism having been conferred upon them, are 
to rise also. We answer: every human being is to partake 
of the resurrection. It is true that some are of the opinion 
that the soul is joining the Phoetus only after the fourtieth 
day of its having been conceived, and that it is by this oc- 
currence that the human being takes a beginning. But as the 
soul takes its existence cotemporary with the conceived fruit, 
building up the body for a fit vessel unto himself; it is 
more probable that the soul is beginning to exist at the mo- 
ment of conception. This consideration makes it probable 
that the beings in question do rise on the last day. 

907. Whether the ungodly also are to rise again? There 
can be no doubt about that. It is true that there are some, 
who are of opinion, that the eternal death with which the un- 
godly are threatened, do not admit of their resurrection. Bflt 
their resurrection is expressly taught in scripture; Dan. 12,2: 
„Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awakie, 
some to everlasting life , some to sham^' and everlasting con- 
tempt;^'- John. 5, 28. 29: „An that are in the grave shall hear 



Chap. XXX. Of the reeurrection of the dead. 285 

his voice and shall come forth : they that have done good, 
unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil 
unto the resurrection of damnalioTL." This can also be proved 
from what we learn concerning the last judgenient ; for in this 
judgement all human beings, consequently also the evildoers, 
are to be judged, Matth. 25, 31. And as the final judgement 
is to take place subsequent to the resurrection, it follows, that 
the ungodly also shall be required to rise. In short every 
human being, whatever be his state, circumstance etc., is to 
rise again on the last day, Eev. 20, 12: „J saw the dead, 
small and great, stand before God, and ih^boohs were 
opened'^ etc. 

908. The state in which the human body is to be in, by his 
resurrection. Here ^gain we have to observe: 

a. Are they to rise again with substantially the same bodies 
as they died. We are to rise with precisely the same bodies, 
for in the first place, this we are expressly taught in scripture. 
Job. 19, 25. — Secondly, because our/^a«7 bodies (and, not 
other bodies) are to be glorified and „fashioned like unto 
Christ's glorious body," Philip. 3, 21. — Thirdly, because in 
all the instances .recorded to us in scripture, all have risen again 
with the same bodies they had previous to their death; such was 
the case with Lazjrus, Tabetha etc. We are, more especially 
supported in our conclusion by the resurrection of Christ 
himself; for he brought from his grave a glorified body, 
though it contained the marks of the spear with which be 
had oeen pierced, John. 20, 27, proving this glorified body 
to be the same which had been nailed to the cross. And 
thus it will he with the rest of men. — In the last place, 
because there can be no single proof adduced from scripture, 
that there is to rise a body different from that which has 
been put into the grave, and this notion is therefore to be re- 
jected as erroneous. 

909. (3. Are the bodies to rise again in the shape etc. and 
with the same infi/rmities they happened to have upon them? 
With regard to the shape, ' the fi-ame etc. of the body, we 
are not able to make any assertions — though some froward 
people have endeavoured to. do so, — because we are told 
nothing about it in scripture. Nor is this point of any impor- 
tance. It, is most probable that children and others, which 
have not arrived at their proper growth, are to rise in the 
full growth they would have arrived at, if they had lived long 
enough. For thereby their nature had been imperfect, and in 
the resurrection every imperfection is to be done away with. 
Nevertheless we ought not to overlook what we read Eev. 
20, 12, and on other places. — With regard to the indrmiiies. 



286 Chap. XXX. Of the resurrection of the dead. 

they are doubtlessly to be removed, for we know that our 
frail bodies are to be glorified, Phil. 3, 21. Paul also testi- 
fies that our body „is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory : 
it is sown in weakness; it is raised, in power," 1. Cor. 15, 43. 

910. ;'. Whereby are the souls of the redeemed to be dis- 
tinguished from those of the coridemnedl We are told in gene- 
ral, that in the resurrection the body of the saints is to be 
like that of God's Angels, Matth. 22, 30; — Phil. 3, 21: 
„The Lord Jesus Christ shall change our vile, body" etc. — 
This change manifests itself in that these bodies are made to be : 

911. Spiritual. 1. Cor. 15, 44: „It is sown a natural 
body; it is raised a spiritual body." Not as if thereby the 
body was changed into a spirit, — for it has been proved 
already that a spirit cannot have flesh and blood. The spiri- 
tuality here intended is to be observed on Christ's body, that 
had also flesh and blood, Luk. 24, 39. It is called a spiritual 
body because of the spiritual gifts and properties with which 
it has been endued. 

912. To shine in brightness, Daniel. 12,3: „They that be 
wise shall shine as the brightness of a firmament; and they 
that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and 
ever;" Matth. 13, 43: „Then shall the righteous shine forth 
as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. — This same 
property is also spoken of with reference to the Lord Jesus, 
for we are told that „he was transfigured before them: and 
his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the 
light." And we read that the children of Israel „could not 
stedfastly behold the face of "Moses for the glory of his coun- 
tenance," 2. Cor. 3, 7; Exod. 34, 30; and if this shining 
brightness has been observed with some, we may be sure that 
it shall be found upon all the saints. 

913. Invisible. Not as if thereby they could not be seen 
wherever they are, but so that it is in their opion to allow 
themselves to be seen or hot. It was in this manner that the 
Lord Jesus appeared unto his disciples, Mrk. 16, 14. He 
came upon them unawares so that they „suppo8ed that they 
had seen a spirit," Luk. 24, 37; and he „ vanished" (ceased 
to be seen^ again out of their sight, Luk. 24, 31. The saints 
that had' risdn with Christ, were not seen of all, but they only 
,,appeared_ unto many," Matth. 27, 53. This proves that it is 
in the option of these glorified bodies to allow themselves to 
be seen or not; as is the case with God, Genes. 12. 7; — 
with the Angels, Judg. 13, 3. 21; — and with the saints in 
heaven, Matth. 17, 3. 

914. Again these glorified bodies are endowed with the 
power of penetrating every thing, even those to which a human 



Chap. XXX. Of the resurrection of the dead. 287 

body lias no access On the occasion of the Angel appearing 
unto the virgin, he had not need to open a door etc. in order 
to be seen by her, and accordingly on seeing him she was 
frightened, Luis. 1, 29. In the same way the Lord Jesus ap- 
peared unto the disciples, being then assembled „the doors 
being shut," so that they were „terrified and affi-ighted, and 
supposed that they had seen a spirit," Lqk. 24, 37 ; John. 20, 
19. 26. The same state of things was manifested on the oc- 
casion of Christ's walking on the water, and which he bid 
Peter to do likewise, Matth. 24, 25. 29. 

915. Immortal and incorrmtible, 1 Cor. 15, 42 : „it is 
sown in corruption, it is raisedf in incorruption;" v. 53: „this 
corruptible must put on incormpiion^ and Uiis mortal must put 
on immortality."- For we are called ,,to an inheritance incor- 
ruptible, and undenled, and that fadeth not away," one „which 
is reserved for us in heaven," 1 Pet. 1, 4. We know also, 
that „Christ being raised from the deadj dieth no more, death 
hath no more dominion over him," Eom. 6, 9, and that „if 
we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live 
with him," Eom. 6, 8. 

916. Perfect in their powers, Isa. 40, 31 : „They that wait 
upon the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall mount 
with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and 
they shall walk and not faint." — More especially their po- 
wers of visions and perception are to be made perfect, which 
are in our present state so imperfect, that we cannot see God, 
Exod. 32, 20; Job. 19, 26. 27; 1 Cor. 13, 12: „Fornow we 
see through a glass, darkly; but then /ace to face;" 1 John. 
3, 2: „We shall see him as he is;" Matth. 5, 8: „Blessed 
are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." 

917. Perfect in their strength, so that they shall not want 
food for the sustenance of the body; Isa. 49, 10: „They shall 
not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor the sun smite 
them;'' Kev. 7, 16. ,.They are before the judgements seat of 
God; they shall not any more hunger nor thirst" etc. Thus 
much concerning the properties of the glorified bodies. 

918. Is there to be a distinction between these bodies with 
reference to the degree of glorification'^ — Decidedly : for we 
are promised, that on the day of resurrection God will re- 
ward^ our good deeds, Luk. 14, 13. 14: „When thou makest 
a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind : and 
thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for 
thou shalt he recompensed qi the resmrection of the jusf^ But 
salvation is not to 1be looked upon as such a reward, since it 
is not to come by our own works, Ephes. .2,8. 9. This re- 
ward is therefore dealt out in diflferent proportions, as St. Paul 



288 Chap. XXX. Of the resurrection of the dead. 

writes: 1 Cor. 15, 40. 41: „ There are celestial bodies, and 
bodies terrestial: but the glory of the celestial is one, 
and the glory of the terestial is another ; there is one glory of the 
mn, and another glory of the moon, and another glOry of the 
stars: for one star differeth from the other in glory, so also is 
the resurrection of the dead." 

919. The distin^ishing marks of the bodies of the wicked. 
They are to be deprived oi all the glorious gifts mentioned as 
being granted to the saints ; a state of things that is to tend 
to their eternal destruction, Isa. 66, 24: „their worm shall not 
die, neither shall their fre be quenched.'-' Of this subsequently. 

920. e. At what time this resurrection is to take place. 
Some are of opinion, that the Lord Jesus intends to, raise up 
a kingdom after the resurrection from the dead, when all wick- 
edness shall have been destroyed. This kingdom they mnin- 
tain, is to be a spiritual kingdom, — but yet one that is on 
this earth ; and is to last for the space of a thousand years, 
after which the world is to be consumed, and the condemna- 
tion of the wicked and the Salvation of the redeemed to 
commence. To this we cannot assent, for: 

1. The resurrection and the last judgement are to take place 
at one and the same day , John. 6, 40 : „I will raise him up 
at the last day;" Chap. 11, 24: „I know that he shall rise 
again in the resurrection at the last day." 

2. In the resurrection the elect are not to remain on this 
earth, but they are to be taken up, to meet the Lord, 
and to be with him , not only, for the space of a thousand 
years, but for ever, 1 Thess. 4, 16. 17: „The Lord himself 
shall descend from heaven with a shout etc. and the dead in 
Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, 
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet 
the Lord in the air, and so shall we be ever with the Lord." 

921. It is true that we are told Rev. 20, 4: that „the 
souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus," 
were to „reign with Christ a thousand years." ' But this re- 
fers only to the circumstances the Church militant is to be in, 
whilst upon this earth, and the persecutions which it is to ex- 
perience. That this prediction in reality is not referring to a 
millenium, can be proved by the following: 

; a. We have shewn already, that the dead are not to rise 
before the day of judgement; 

|3. The last times are said to be evil, and not very prosperous 
days, 2 Tim, 3, 1. — „The love of many shall wax cold," 
Matth. 24, 12; „the harvest is the end of the world; as therefore 
the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be 
in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth 



Chap. XXX. Of the last judgment. 289 

his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things 
that oflFend, and them which do iniquity," Matth. 13,139. fF. 
— The devil also is to mnnifest himself in his most heinous 
shape at the approach of the Jast day, Eev. 12 , 12 : „Woe to 
the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea 1 for the devil is 
come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth 
he has but a short time." 

y. At the end of the thousand jrears, Gog and Magog 
are to commence a severe war agamst the saints, besides 
the many temptations with which Satan is to be busy, as is 
shewn v. 9 of the same Chapter. But this cannot agree 
with the supposed kingdom which Christ is said to erect upon earth . 
922. Again to sdl men is in common: 
IV. the la&t ju^ment. Of this we have to observe : 

1. Are we to expect a final judgment. About this there 
cannot be a doubt maintained by any Christian, for it is fre- 
quently referred to and taught m scripture. Nor ought any 
reasonable being to have any hesitation to admit this, since he 
finds it written in his heart and conscience; Rom. 2, 15. 
16 we are told of the Gentiles that „ their (the Gentile's) 
OMiscience also (is^ bearing witness, and their thoughts the 
mean while accusmg or else excusing one another; in the 
day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ 
according to my GospeW 

2. Who is to be the Judge? The scriptures mention diiFe- 
rent names, viz: 

a. God; God is the judge of all the world, Pslm. 9, 8. 
9: „the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his 
throne for judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord 
also vrill be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of 
trouble;" Isai. 3, 13. 14: „The Lord standeth up to plead, 
and standeth up to judge the people; the Lord will enter into 
judgment with tne ancients of his people." 

(3. Jems Christ; John. 5, 22: „The father hath committed 
all judgment unto the Son; Rom. 14, 10: „We shall all stand 
before the judgment seat of Christ.'' Now we know that there 
are two natures in Christ, viz: the human nature, and the 
divine nature; thus constituted he is to be the judge the 
world. John. 5, 27 (The Father) „ hath given him (the Son) 
authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of 
man;'' Matth. 25, 31: „When the Son of man shall come in 
his glory, and all the holy Angels with him" etc. <• 

y The saints; 1. Cor. 6, 2: „Do ye not know that the 
saints shall judge the world;" Matth. 19, 28: „When the Son 
of man shall sit in the throne of his glory ye also shall sit 
upon tioelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" — 

19 



290 Chap. XXX. Of the last judgment. 

Scripture moreover maintains that difference, that God the 
Holy Trinity is to be the sole and principle judge, but that 
Christ the Lord, as a Person is to execute that judgment as 
the visible representative of the Trinity. God has, according 
to Acts. 17,31 „appointed a day, in the which he will judge 
the world in righteousness by thai man whom he has ordained." 
Whilst the saints afe to act as witnesses to the fact, that 
God has offered unto all those men, who are now about to be con- 
demned the means of Salvation, but that they had rejected 
the same, Mrk. 6, 11; Acts. 13, 46. 51. 

924. 3. Who is to be. judged?: All human beings that ever 
have existed, Matth. 25, 31 : „before him shall be gathered all 
nations ;'■'■ Isai. 45, 23; • Rom. 14, 11: i,Every knee shall bow 
to me and every tongue shall confess to God;" 2. Cor. 5,10; 
„ We must all xXppear before the judgment seat of Christ." 

925. 4. At what time is this judgment to take place? At 
the end of the_ world, Matth. 13, 40 ff.: „So shall it be in 
the end of this world; the Son of man shall send forth his 
Angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things 
that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them 
into a furnace of fire." — 

' It is here the place to speak of the consummation of the 
whole world. 

a. Is this world to last for ever; or is it to pass away 
one day? That this world is one <tey to pass away, we find 
frequently testified in Scripture; Pslm. 102, 26. 27: „The 
heavens are the work of thy hands; they shall perish, but 
thou shalt endure, yea all of them shall wax old like a garment, 
as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed;"' 
Luk. 21, 33 : „fteaven and earth shall pass away , but my words 
shall not pass away;" 2. Pet. 3, 10: „The day of the Lord 
^vill come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall 
pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt 
with fervent heat, the earth also and the loorks that are therein 
shall be burned up."" 

927. |3. Is the world, in its substance to pass away, or is 
it merely to be renewed? Like as the world has been made 
out_ of nothing, so also is to pass again away into nothing. 
This is clear from the evidences adduced already, and agrees 
also with what we read, Eev. 21, 1: „I saw a new heaven 
and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were 
passed away; and there was no more sea;'''- Isai. 65, 17: „I 
create new 'heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not 
be remembered, nor come into mind." . 

928. y. At what time is this to take place? If we inquire 
after the month, day or hour — this is not revealed unto us; 



' Chap. XXX. Of the last judgment. 291 

Mrk. 13,22: „0f that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, 
not the angels which are in hecmm, neither the Son (that is, in 
his state of hunailiation) but the Father.'-'- — If we look at the 
state of things in the world , we may rest assured that the 
end of the world is not far of, inasmuch as all the signs 
which were to mark its approach are almost all fulfilled. As 
such signs are pointed out to us : „Wars and rumors of war," 
Matth. 24, 6; „the love of many shall wax cold," v. 12. 
(false) „8ecurity,« Luk. 17, 26 ff.; 1. Thess. 5, 3: „the appea- 
rance of false Cbrists and false prophets," Matth. 24, 23 fE; 
the man of sin „is to he revealed," 2. Thess. 2, 2. 3; „signs 
in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars," Lqk. 21, 25; 
distress of nations and perplexity, „m6n's hearts failing them 



ibr fear," v. 25, 26,; „all Israel shall be saved," as anounced 
by Paul, Eom. 11, 25. 26 : „I would not, brethren, that ye should 
be ignorant of this mystery, that blindness in part is happened 
Unto Israel, until the fulness of the 'Gentiles come in; and so 
shall all Israel be saved." — This is also prophecied by Mo- 
ses, Deut. 4, 30 : „When thou art in tribulation, and all these 
things are come Upon thee, even in the latteir days, if thou 
twrn unto the Lord thy Gqd, and shalt be obedient to his 
voice." This can properly be understood to imply nothing 
else, than that, before the coming of the last day, the Jewish 
people is to be converted in large numbers to the Lord. — 
Another characteristic of these times is „the sign of the Son 
of man," Matth. 24, 30. It is uncertain, whether this sign is 
to appear on heaven , or any where else. If it should refer 
to the signs stated above, then we shall have plenty opportunity of 
seing them; or if it intends anything else, we siiall be per- 
mitted to observe the same in due time ; but in the meantime 
we ought not to imagine that the end of the world is not to 
come, unless it is preceded by some signal and wonderful 
token. — Another sign again is the preachinct of the Gospel 
in the whole world, Matth. 24, 14. This is carried into effect 
either i^ the way the Apostles used to do; or it it refers 
to the revealing of the Antichrist, for thereby the Gospel is 
preached all over the world. 

These signs — with the exception of the conversion of 
the Jews, and the preaching of the Gospel to every creature 
having been fulfilled, they must be looked upon as the sure 
messengers of the approaching eonsunmiation of all things'; 
though they do not enable us to point out the month, the 
day, or the hour of its finally taking effect. Just as a high 
age is the sure messenger of a man's approaching end, though 
it does not point out the day or the hour of his ultimate 
denth. 



292 Chap. XXX. Of eternal salvation. 

929. d. The business of this judgement. Before this court 
every thing that men ever have done, be they evil or good: 
or whatever good they have omitted to do , is to be jud- 
ged; 2. Cor. 5,10: „"We must all appear before the judgment 
seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done 
in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good 
or evil;'-'- Eccl. 12, 14: „God shall bring every work into 
judgment, , with every secret thing, whether iPbe good, or whe- 
ther it be evil." — ' There is nothing hid that is not to be 
brought to light in this judgment; cf. Eccl. 12, 14 and Rom. 
2, 16: ,,God shall judge the secrets of men;" 1. Cor. 4, 5: 
„The Lord will bring to light the hidden things of darkness," 
and man's deeds, Matth. 25, 35. 42; ibid. 12, 36. 37: „Every 
idle word that rrmn shall speak , they shall have to give account 
thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be 
justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemnedf- 1. Cor. 
4, 5: The Lord will also on that occasion „make manifest 
the counsels of the heart."- 

930. «. The nature of the judgment, that is to be pro- 
novinced. It is to be a judgment for eternity, which is never 
to be retracted, and the effect of which shall last for ever; for 
thereby men are either to come to the enjoyment of eternal 
salvation, or of eternal condemnation. Of which two kinds of 
judgment the Lord Jesus has made special mention, Matth. 
25, 34: „Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world;" v. 41 : 
„Depart from me-, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for 
the devil and his angels." 

931. J. The execution of this judgment. This is to take 
effect as follows: Matth. 25, 46: „These (the condemned) 
shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into 
eternal life.'^ Thus much with reference to that which is 
common (though with a different effect) to all mortals. 

932. The distinguishing marks which are to essist in tJie 
future life between the godly and the ungodly. These are to be 
salvation and eternal condemnation. We have provea already, 
that the souls of the departed are conscious of^ the state they 
are ultimately to be brought in in the last judgment, even 
before^ this takes place. — We have now to consider these 
two different conditions more especially, and what is to be- 
come of men after the dissolution of the world. 

933. a. Eternal life. In the preceding parts of this work 
we have shewn how that before God all men are found to be 
sinners, — and by what means it pleases Him, to convert 
them from their sins, and in which way, after having justified 
them, He. preserves them in their new estate. And that al- 



Chap. XXX, Of eternal salvation. 293 

though God is redeeming men in His Church, this blessed 
state is yet imperfect, and mixed up with many troubles, but 
not without the comforting assurance that this state is to be 
improved and made perfect in the state of etermal salvation. 
— Concerning this we have to keep in mind three things: 

a. In the state of salvation all evil is to he done away 
ioith, w^h which man has ever been troubled, Isai. 25, 8: „The 
Lord God will loipe away tears from off all the faces-," Rev. 
21, 4: „And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor 
crying, neither shall th^re be any more pain.'-' — But more 
especially all the viles and the lusts of the devil are to be 
done away with and vanquished; and according to Rom. 16, 
20, also the death; Isai. 25, 8: '„The Lord God will swallow 
up death in viatorg;" 1. Cor. 15, 26: „The last enemy that 
shall be destroyed is death;'-'- Rev. 21, i: „There shall be no 
more death." — Again there are to be done away the outraaes 
of ike mighty of this earth, Wisd. 5, 1 : „Then shall the right- 
eous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as 
have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours;" — 
anxiety and labow. Rev. 14, 13: „61esBed are the dead which 
die in the Lord, . . . they may rest from their labours;" Isai. 
66, 23 : „From one new moon to another, and from one sab- 
bath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, 
saith the Lord." — Poverty and other misfortune ; Lazarus had 
no more complaints, aiter he had been carried into Abraham's 
bosom, Luk. 16, 25, for there God is to be „all in all," 
1. Cor. 15, 28. The saints have, even in this life already, the 
comforting assurance, and the satisfaction., that they have a 
merciful God, Pslm. 73, 25. 26, Moses was able to remain 
with the Lord upon the mountain, for the space of fourty days 
and fourty nights, without his tasting any food, Exod. 34, 

28. How much more shall the saints find satisfaction in 
gloriously viewing the divine Being, His Majesty and His 
Glory, so as never to perceive hunger or thirst, Rev. 7, 16. 

935. /J. In the state of salvation there is to be an abundance 
of every good. This state is liked to a marriage feast, in which 
everything is ready, Matth. 8, llff.: „Many shall come from 
the east and the west , and shall sit down with Abraham, 
and Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven;" Luk. 22, 

29. 30: „I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath 
appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in 
my kingdom;" Pslm. 36, 9:. „'They shall be abundantly sa- 
tisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make 
them drink of the river of thy pleasures." — Again the state 
of salvation is described as one of great glory, Coloss. 3, 4: 
„When Christ who is your life shall appear, then shall ye 



294 Ohap. XXX. Of eternal salvation. 

also appear with him in glory 2. Cor. 4, 17 : „Our light 
affliction, which ia but for a moment, worketh for us a iar 
more exceeding and eternal weight of -glory;" — Another ap- 
pellation for rtiis state is also „unceadng Joy^^' John. 16, 22: 
„I will see you again, and your heart shall r^oice, and your 
joy no man taheth from you;" a joy not to be comprehended, 
1. Cor. 2, 9: „Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have 
entered into the heart of man , thp things;* which God hath 
prepared for them that love him;" — a joy unspeakable, 
1, Pet. 1, 8 : „^e rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of 
glory." — This joy is designated by Abraham as a comfort, 
Luk. Ifi, 25: „Lazarus received evil things, but now he is 
comforted." It is a delightful viewing of the divine Being 
and His Glory, Job. 19, 26. 27: „In my flesh shall I see 
God;" Matth. 5, 8; „Blessed are the pure in heart" etc.; 
Ps. 42, 2: „My soul thirsteth after God: when shall I come 
and appear before God?" 1. Cor. 13,12: „Now we see through 
a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; 
but then I shall know even as I am known;" 1. John. 3, 2: 
jyNow are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear 
what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, 
we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." — The 
state of Salvation is likewise one of sweet communion with the 
holy Angels, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs and 
the rest of the elect, whose remembrance is also dear to us 
in this life, Heb. 12, 22: „But ye are come unto mount Sion, 
unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem , and 
to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly 
of the Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, 
and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men 
made perfect.'* 

936. Y- -^ i^' ^''"'^ 9f salvation the redeemed have no other 
occupation, than unceasingly to sing praises unto God. The oc- 
cupation of the holy Angels is that they continually exclaim 
one to another, Isai. 6, 3: „Holy, holy, holy, is thejliord of 
hosts: the whole earth, is full of his glory. '■'■ A more weUplea- 
sing service the elect are not able to render unto God, when 
enjoying eternal life, than to sing His praises, Eev. 4, 8: 
„they rest not day and night, saying. Holy, holy, holy, Lord 
God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come;" Chap. 
5, 8 fF.: „four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, 
having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of 
odours, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sung 
a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book and to 
open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed 
us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, 



Chap. XXX. Of hell and eternal condemnation. 295 

and people, and nation;" Chap, 7, 11.' 12: „the elders fyi 
before the throne on their faces and worshipped God, saying, 
Amen: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving, and 
honour and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and 
ever. Amen." Chap. 22, 10: „And I heard a loud voice 
saying in heaven, now is come salvation, and strength, and 
the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ: fbr the 
accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them." 

937. b. The miserable state of the condemned in hell; con- 
cerning this we have to consider: 

a. That in hell there is nothing to be fmmd of aU the good 
a man is able to lenjoy , and part of which has been stated in 
the preceding paragraph. The condemned are not to enjoy 
these blessings, because they are entirely excluded from the 
kingdom of God, Kev. 22, 15: „For without are dogs, cmd 
sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, 
and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie;" 2. Thess. 1, 9: „Who 
(the wicked) shall be punished with eaerlaMng destruction from 
the presence of the Lord, and from the gloiry of his' power." — 
They are also to be denied the light whicfi gladdens the heart 
of every man, Pslm. 49, 20: „They shall never see light;" to 
them „is reserved the blackness of c^rkness for ever," Jud. 
13; „Bind him hand and foot and take him away, and cast 
him into outer darkness ; there shall be weeping and gnashing 
of teeth," Matth. 22, 13. — The weary and thirtsty traveller 
is enlivened by the cooling draught; but to those condemned 
to hell fire, this benefit is to be denied, as we see exemplified 
in the case of the rich man', Luk. 16, 24. 25. The weary 
is rejoicing in his rest; but those worn out by the anxieties of 
hell are to find no such rest. Rev. 14, 11: „They have no 
rest day and night." 

983. /9. The condemned' are to emerience all that is calcu- 
lated to give to man trouble, pain and anadety. More especially 
the fmrpil consciousness of God's wrath, Kev. 6, 16. 17 : „They 
said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from 
the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath 
of the Lamb ; for the great day of his wrath is come , and 
who shall be able to stand?" — The painful society of the 
spirits of the hell and of those of all the condemned. Hellfire 
is prepared for the devil and Ms Angels, Matth. 25, 41. As 
also unspeakable pain in body and sow, such • as the pangs of 
an evil conscience, remorse for having rejected the grace of 
God, and not listened to the divine warnings etc. This state 
of things is called „everlasting punishment," Matth. 25, 46; 
— „a torment," Luk. 16, 23; Eev. 20, 10: they „shall be 
tormented day and night;" — „wailing and gnashing of teeth," 



296 Chap. XXX. Of hell and eternal condemnation. 

Matth. 13, 42; — „everlasting destruction," 2. Thess. 1, 9. 
This anguish of soul is prefigured , by the use of the term 
„fire," since it is fire only that can inflict upon man the most in- 
tense <pain. Thus the rich man says, Luk. 16, 24: „I am 
tormented in this flame;" Matth. 25, 41: „Depart from me, 
ye cursed into everlasting fire;" Chapt. 3, 12: „He will burn 
up the chaff with unquencheable fire;" Eev. 14, 11: „the 
smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever ;" Chap. 
20, 15: „Whosoever was not found written in the book of 
life was cast into the lake of firfe;'' Chap. 21, 8: „But the 
fearful, the unbelieving etc. shall have their part in the lake 
which bumeth with fire and brimstone." „Fire" signifies the 
fierce and insupportable wrath of God; Deut. 32, 22: „foT a 
fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest 
hell;" Isai. 30, 33: „Tophet is ordained of old; yea for the 
king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile 
thereof is fire and much wood ; the breath of the Lord shall 
kindle it;" Chap. 65, 5: „These (the idolaters) are a smoke 
in my nose, afire that bumeth all day." — Finally the state 
of the condemned is compared to a worm within the heart 
that never dies, Isa. 66, 24; Mrk. 9, 44: „Their worm dieOi 
not, and ^ fire is not quenched." 

• With the perfecting of the enjoyment of eternal salvation, 
.God's merciful works are concluded, and with the final con- 
demnation His eternal wrath and anger are for ever determi- 
ned to take efi^ect, so that after the last judgement men have 
neither to work out, nor to expect any change in their condi- 
tion. For after this nobody can go void of his salvation, 
as little as anybody can be redeemed from hell. Each is to 
remain for ever in the state he was put in on that occasion. 
— And, accordingly , it is here the proper place to conclude 
our work, which has been undertaken for the purpose of pointing 
out to man, what he has to know and to believe, in order 
that he might avoid condemnation, and come to eternal sal- 
vation. — 



The Author's concloding Prayer. 



holy and blessed Trinity, the only source and fountain 
of all our temporal and eternal welfare, enable us, we be- 
seech thee, so t6 live, that whilst the day of mercy is 
still open to us, we may escape all the evils which are 
to befall the wicked and the unbelievers, and grant that, when 
the last day arrives, we may be able appear with joy before 
the judgment seat of the Son of man. Amen ! Through Je- 
sus Christ our Lord, who is our Mediator, our Eedeemer, our 
help in time of need, and the Author and Finisher of our faith, 
in whom all promises of God are yea and amen I 

Amen. 



-#-§®§-^- 



Errata. 

Page 3 line 2 read: to learn. 

„ 3 .. 3 „ to (too much). 

» 6 » 7 » V men. 

„ 6 .. 39 „ have. 

., 12 ., 36 ., ' right. 

„ 40 ,. 15 „ there is. 

■> 34*' >■ ' 2 „ commission. 

„ 45 „ 46 „ exhibited/ 

- 54 » 17 „ except. 

„ 54 „ 27 „ of himself. 

.. 58 .. 36 „ nature. 

» 96 » 45 » signs, 

"., 122 .. 38. ., not to be. 

,. 125 .. 19 „ are to be consid. 

.. 136 .. 25 « commit. 

„ 142 ,, 31 „ choose. 

.. 171 ■ 16 „ Lord. 

■> 172 » 29 » into a gooA olive tree. 

... 186 .. 21 ,. . necessity of circumcision, 

,. 196^ „ 3 „ Triune. 

., W^^ ., 13 . for. 

.. 226 „ 40 „ career. 

„ 230 „ 37 „ word. . 

.> 232 » 16 >.' make it impossible. 

■ 235 ; 32 „ consist. 

., 241 .,,26 .. to the higher. 

„ 263 .. 26 .. all. their parts. 

„ 269 n 24 .. Gods. 

« 278 .. 20 ., unbelief. 

.. 281 .. 43 ., inquiries.